Lillis renounces right to administer wife’s estate

CONVICTED killer Eamon Lillis has renounced his right to administer the estate of his late wife, Celine Cawley.

The High Court was told yesterday that Lillis, who is currently serving a prison sentence of just under seven years at Wheatfield Prison, had consented to his removal as the administrator of Ms Cawley’s will.

Mr Justice Iarlaith Ó Neill heard consent had been received late last week and he made an order appointing Ms Cawley’s brother, Chris Cawley, and sister Susanna Cawley, as administrators of Celine Cawley’s estate.

In January of this year, 52-year-old Lillis was jailed after a jury of six men and six women found him not guilty of murder, but guilty of the manslaughter. The couple had one child, a now 17-year-old daughter.

Following a 16-day trial, the jury found the state failed to prove the TV advertising executive intended to murder Celine on December 15, 2008, at their home on Windgate Road, Howth, Co Dublin.

A prison sentence of six years and 11 months was imposed on Mr Cawley by Mr Justice Barry White.

The judge said it was clear from the verdict the jury rejected Lillis’s contention he had no responsibility for his wife’s death.

When passing sentence the judge told Lillis: “Your expression of remorse rings hollow to me and I consider it to be self-serving in light of the circumstances of the case. I respect your right to plead not guilty, but consider that an offer of a plea to manslaughter would have demonstrated true contrition and remorse.”

The judge said he considered it appropriate to have regard to the lies told by Lillis to the Garda to conceal his involvement and the consequences they had on the Cawley family when sentencing.

“It is clear to me from the powerful victim impact report presented by Susanna Cawley that your behaviour has had a devastating effect on people of all ages,” Mr Justice White added.

The judge said that, in the circumstances, a sentence of 10 years for the killing would be appropriate.

However, the judge said he was taking into account factors, including Lillis’s previously unblemished character, his age and the intense media coverage surrounding the trial, and three weeks he had spent in custody last year while awaiting bail, and he imposed a sentence of six years and 11 months.

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