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

The former Sinn Féin councillor Pauline Tully was treated for serious stab wounds in hospital on Christmas Day.

CONVICTED GARDA KILLER and former IRA man Pearse McAuley has been given a 12-year prison sentence for assault causing serious harm to his ex-wife, local school teacher Pauline Tully last Christmas Eve.

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 on 24 December last year.

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

Before Judge John Aylmer at Cavan Circuit Court this afternoon, McAuley was sentenced to serve 12-years imprisonment for assault causing serious harm to Ms Tully, a former Sinn Féin county councillor, with four years suspended and his term backdated to time he first went behind bars.

He was also sentenced to serve three-years for production of a knife, six for false imprisonment, and four for the charge relating to making a threat to kill.

Upon release, McAuley will enter into a four-year bond of supervision by the probationary services.

McAuley spoke only once throughout the sentencing hearing, to acknowledge that he understood the terms when signing the bond of €100.

Recognisances were fixed in the event of an appeal.

Last week Ms Tully gave evidence by way of victim impact statement, saying that she dreaded and feared the day her estranged husband would be released.

I am in absolute fear of him and fear that someday he will make another attempt on my life. I do not ever expect to enjoy a peaceful mind, but will live a life haunted by what happened to me.

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McAuley, a former IRA man, 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.

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

McAuley was released from prison in 2009.

However, he had been granted temporary release in January 2003 so he could marry Pauline Tully. The ceremony took place in her hometown of Kilnaleck.

Read: Garda Jerry McCabe killer questioned over stabbing of his wife Pauline Tully McAuley

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Paul Neilan and Isabel Hayes.
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