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2003 file image of Pearse McAuley PA

IRA's Pearse McAuley, domestic abuser and killer of Garda Jerry McCabe, has died

McAuley was released from prison in 2022.


FORMER-IRA MEMBER, domestic abuser and convicted garda-killer Pearse McAuley has died. 

He was found dead at his home in his native Strabane in Co Tyrone yesterday.

McAuley escaped from Brixton Prison in London in 1991 while awaiting trial on charges related to a suspected plot to assassinate Charles Tidbury, who was a brewing executive.

McAuley then made his way to Ireland and was a member of an IRA gang that attempted an armed robbery of a post office van in Adare in 1996. 

McAuley was convicted of killing Detective Garda Jerry McCabe during that attempted robbery in Adare, Co Limerick. 

Initial charges of murder against him and three others were dropped after witnesses refused to testify for fear of the IRA.

In 1999, McAuley was sentenced to 14 years in prison for the manslaughter of Jerry McCabe.

He served 10 and a half years for manslaughter and was released from prison in 2009.

In 2015, McAuley was sentenced to 12 years for stabbing his then estranged wife, schoolteacher Pauline Tully, on Christmas Eve 2014. 

Tully, now a Sinn Féin TD for Cavan-Monaghan, has previously spoken about the abuse she suffered at the hands of the convicted killer.

Tully met McAuley while he was serving his sentence for the killing of Jerry McCabe.

McAuley was granted temporary release in 2003 so the pair could be married.

On Christmas Eve in 2014, he stabbed Tully 13 times over the course of three and a half hours.

During that time, he brought Tully’s children in and made them say goodbye to their mother. 

After being convicted for the attack in 2015, McAuley was released from prison in 2022.  

McAuley also had connections with former Sinn Féin councillor Jonathan Dowdall, who was jailed for four years for facilitating the murder of Kinahan cartel member David Byrne.

Prison records showed Dowdall visited McAuley 14 times in Castlerea Prison between February 2015 and January 2016.

With reporting from Niall O’Connor.

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