Writer and Author

No Sign of an Appeal from Lillis

As of close of business yesterday Eamonn Lillis had not lodged any appeal of his sentence or his conviction for manslaughter.  This made the papers today because we’ve all become so used to seeing high profile appeals in murder and manslaughter cases.  Finn Colclough’s appeal yesterday for example or the upcoming appeal of Sharon Collins and Essam Eid, the subjects of my book Devil in the Red Dress. 

It was expected that Lillis would appeal, especially since his counsel Brendan Grehan SC, had asked for the jury to be discharged after they had been charged by Mr Justice Barry White.  Appeals of convictions can only be taken on a legal matter since the jury’s decision cannot be questioned.  Close of business day marked the latest time he could apply for an automatic appeal hearing.  That doesn’t rule out an eventual appeal, it simply means it will be a lot harder to do so as he will first need to apply for leave to appeal with the Court of Criminal Appeal.

It’ll be interesting to see whether or not there is an eventual appeal.  If not then Lillis will have the distinction of being one of the very few high profile convicts not to have appealed his sentence or conviction after pleading his innocence throughout his trial.  It’s the usual codicil after a high profile trial.

I could understand why he wouldn’t appeal though.  Throughout the trial he was extremely steadfast about his intention to shield his daughter from as much further stress as possible.  Of course we shall never know exactly why an appeal isn’t taken, and at this stage one still might be, but it is an interesting addendum to what has been a fascinating trial.


  1. Real Deal

    Great show on “Aftermath” last night. Authoritative and èmpathic. Creditr to the profession.

  2. ginger

    Hi Abagail. I really enjoyed your blog on the Lillis trial as it was happening. However, I can’t work out how you can say he shielded his daughter from the trial stress … I read that it was on his direction to the defence that his daughter had to give evidence in court – her evidence could have been read into court – but he must have felt that he would gain something by her being there (what? a sympathetic link between him and her in front of the jury?) This was nothing but a further example of his self serving, selfish attitude to the situation he landed his daughter, as well as his extended family into. Remember also that he told her that he lied for her – he has given her a very heavy burden to carry for the rest of her life … he didn’t lie for her, – he lied to cover up killing his wife. He also continued the lies to his daughter in the January, when he told her the ‘truth’. How confused must she feel now looking back on the evidence of the trial? And now, by not fighting an appeal, he has reinforced the abandonment that she must feel. I saw no sign that this man had any regard for his daughter – all I saw was a weak, self serving, selfish, manipulative man, who may have feared the back-lash of the Irish public, if his light sentence had been reduced any further.

    • Abigail

      Hi Ginger, thanks for the comment. In terms of Lillis shielding his daughter, I agree that it appears the decision to put her on the stand came from the defense but I was merely commenting on the fact that Lillis had given his counsel strict instructions not to interrogate his daughter much…which of course leaves the question of why have her up there in the first place. My heart goes out to the girl, I don’t think any of us can fully comprehend how horrific this whole experience must have been for her. Sadly in cases like this it tends to be the children who suffer most, at the risk of sounding cliched.

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