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Killing his wife was quicker and cheaper than a divorce

ColumnistsBy Caoimhe Young
Eamonn Lillis
Eamonn Lillis

I AM sure Eamonn Lillis was pleased when he read the Irish Times report about him on Friday.

It began: “Former television executive Eamonn Lillis is set to be released from prison today after serving the sentence imposed on him for killing his wife, Celine Cawley, with a brick.”

Given that he has just done his time for the manslaughter of his wife in 2008, who he killed in their home in the leafy Dublin suburb of Howth, Co. Dublin, being noted for what he did for a living for a change had to be a cause for celebration.

His ego and sense of identity has been given a massive boost of late because he is free and he is still wealthy – to the tune of €1.3m.

There is no justice in a country where the law can’t connect one piece of information with another: The money is from the sale of his wife’s business, the home they shared together, his pension and the sale of investment bonds – which they both owned.

Terenure-born Lillis has served just short five years and two months in Wheatfield Prison in Clondalkin, Dublin, and is entitled to the pension payment from his firm and proceeds from the sale of an investment property and bonds.

And so abroad he goes, full of apologies to his only daughter.

The divorce act in Ireland states that couples must live apart for more than five years before they can bring proceedings. 

For a killer, Eamonn Lillis – who was having an affair with his massage therapist – seems to have done pretty well. 

During his prison stint he’s done yoga, French and Spanish classes and written to his daughter, 

Georgia, hoping for forgiveness. Sounds like standard ‘get on with your life’ steps – but Lillis battered his wife to death.

Had Lillis divorced her instead the process would have taken him longer than the jail term he served and left him financially worse off than he is now. Where is the justice or deterrent in that?

The answer is there’s no justice in this country. None know it more than the only daughter of a former Bond girl and a former television executive.