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IRA killer Pearse McAuley faces prison for wife attack

By Martin Shannon

Published 04/06/2015

Admission: Pearse McAuley
Admission: Pearse McAuley

One of the IRA killers of Detective Garda Jerry McCabe is facing another long term in prison after pleading guilty to falsely imprisoning his wife and causing her serious harm.

Pearse McAuley (50), who is originally from Strabane but has an address in Cavan Bank Walk, Ballyconnell, Co Cavan, pleaded guilty to four charges at Cavan Circuit Court yesterday after stabbing his estranged wife at their home last Christmas Eve.

He admitted falsely imprisoning former Sinn Fein councillor Pauline Tully McAuley and producing a knife during a dispute at Kilderry, Cavan, on December 24 last year.

McAuley also pleaded guilty to intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to her on the same occasion and to a fourth charge of threatening to kill her brother Tommy during the same incident.

Ms Tully, who now uses her maiden name, was in the courthouse but did not enter the courtroom. It was reported at the time that she had been stabbed multiple times.

McAuley, dressed in a grey suit, sat smiling and waved to two women at the rear of the court before the case was called and spoke only to answer guilty to each of the charges.

Sinn Fein stood by McAuley and three other IRA killers after the 1996 killing of Det Garda McCabe during an armed robbery. McAuley was jailed for 14 years but released in 2009 after serving 10.

Sinn Fein claimed he should have been released under the Good Friday Agreement and had fought for his early release despite Irish government opposition.

McAuley met Ms Tully when she visited him in jail. They married in 2003 as he was serving his sentence. They have two children.

He shot his way out of Brixton Prison in London in 1991 and fled to the Republic. After his release for the McCabe killing, the Crown Prosecution Service said it would not seek his extradition for the escape. McAuley was remanded into custody for sentencing on November 24.

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