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Jerry McCabe-killer's sentence for 'vicious' attack was too light, says Mary Lou

The convicted garda killer was handed a 12-year jail term for attacking his ex-wife last Christmas Eve.

Pearse McAuley and Pauline Tulley pictured at their wedding in 2003.
Pearse McAuley and Pauline Tulley pictured at their wedding in 2003.
Image: PA

SINN FÉIN DEPUTY leader Mary Lou McDonald has criticised the length of the sentence handed down to Pearse McAuley for his attack on his ex-wife last Christmas Eve.

The former IRA man and convicted garda killer was handed a 12-year jail term at Cavan Circuit Court on Wednesday for assault causing serious harm to local school teacher Pauline Tully, on 24 December last.

The Strabane-native (51) with an address at Canal Bank Walk, Ballyconnell, had pleaded guilty to falsely imprisoning Ms Tully and intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to her at Keelderry, Kilnaleck.

He also pleaded guilty to production of a knife, and to threatening to kill her brother during the same incident.

“I think the case and the experience that Pauline and her two small boys went through was absolutely shocking, absolutely vicious,” McDonald told an RTÉ reporter today.

“And it strikes me – although it’s not for me to instruct the courts how to sentence – that yet again we see a very light sentence in my view, given the scale, the viciousness and the premeditated nature of that crime.”

McAuley spent 10 and a half years in prison for the manslaughter of Jerry McCabe. The garda was killed during an attempted robbery in Adare, county Limerick in June 1996.

He was collected upon his release from prison by Sinn Féin TD Martin Ferris.

Asked about that connection today, McDonald gave the following reply:

“Listen to me. Let me tell you. Lots of people across society unbeknownst to themselves know, work with, live beside people who are domestic abusers and who are violent to their partners.

“The culpability and responsibility for that violence and for those actions reside with the individual that carried them out.

“So I think it is entirely wrong to try and drag in third parties and to name them in different contexts as though that were part of the scenario and the awful situation that Pauline and the boys went through.

“I don’t think that’s fair, I don’t think it’s appropriate and I don’t think that does a service to victims of domestic violence.”

Read: Garda killer Pearse McAuley back in jail for Christmas Eve knife attack on estranged wife >

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