Family bid to disentitle killer Lillis from wife’s estate

A LEGAL action by the relatives of Celine Cawley against her husband and convicted killer Eamonn Lillis disentitling him from any interest in his wife’s estate has been adjourned for three weeks.

Ms Cawley’s brother Christopher Cawley and sister Susanna Cawley are seeking a declaration, under the Succession Act 1965, that Lillis had predeceased the deceased.

The action, brought on the grounds that due to his actions Lillis is an unworthy person to succeed his late wife, is aimed at ensuring Lillis loses his 50% interest in two homes, at Rowan Hill Howth and Tramway Court Sutton, as well as his interest in a number of joint bank accounts and bonds held by the couple.

If the application is successful, Lillis’s interest would be transferred to the couple’s teenage daughter, who turns 18 later this month. It is understood that Lillis claims that he is entitled to an interest in the assets.

Yesterday, the Master of the High Court Edmund Holohan was informed that the matter could be adjourned to a date later this month in order to allow Lillis time to respond to the application.

Lillis, who is serving a sentence of just under seven years at Wheatfield Prison, had previously consented to his removal as the administrator of Ms Cawley’s will.

Last March Lillis renounced his right to administer the estate. The court made orders appointing Christopher and Susanna Cawley as administrators.

Lillis, 53, was jailed earlier this year after a jury convicted him of the manslaughter of his wife.

Following a 16-day trial, the jury found the state failed to prove Lillis intended to murder Ms Cawley, 46, a TV executive, on December 15, 2008, at their home on Windgate Road, Howth, Co Dublin.

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

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

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