Georgia Lillis, a 16-year-old girl and an only child, is spending Christmas without her parents.

Her mother was murdered last week. This week her father was charged with the crime and remanded behind prison bars to await trial.

Celine Cawley, a high-profile executive of an advertising film company that she founded and built up herself called Toytown Films, was found badly injured in the patio of her luxury home at Howth, Co. Dublin, on Monday of last week.

She had been brutally beaten about the head with a brick. She died later in hospital.

Her 51-year-old husband, Eamonn Lillis, a television producer, told detectives that he found her unconscious when he returned to their home after delivering Georgia to school and walking his dogs.

He said he discovered an intruder in the house and fought with him before the unidentified man, who wore a balaclava over his head, ran out into the back garden and escaped down a back lane.

Gardai (police) discovered there was no evidence of forced entry to the house, and from early on their investigation was centered on the belief that Cawley must have known the person who attacked her and admitted him to her home.

Before the end of the week they had discovered a red brick which they believed was the murder weapon.

Last Saturday they arrested Lillis and charged him with the murder of his 46-year-old wife.

She was buried on Tuesday, about two hours after her husband appeared in court for the second successive day and was remanded without bail until January 6.

Hundreds of mourners packed the Church of the Assumption in Howth for the funeral Mass.

Family friend Father Ciaran O'Carroll said Cawley's death was an incredibly painful, distressing and heartbreaking experience.

"Celine was a do-er, with a flair and an ability to get things done with panache and style," he added.

Among the mourners were members of the Haughey family, including junior government minister Sean Haughey, a son of former Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Charles Haughey.