We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Domestic Abuse

Pauline Tully describes being stabbed 13 times on Christmas Eve by garda-killer husband

Pearse McAuley is now serving 12 years for the attack on Pauline Tully.

THE ESTRANGED WIFE of convicted garda killer and former-IRA member Pearse McAuley has spoken out about the abuse she endured while married to him.

Appearing on RTÉ’s Marian Finucane programme, Pauline Tully has described what life was like with her husband who was given a 12-year prison sentence after assaulting her on Christmas Eve last year.

Sentenced before Cavan Circuit Court earlier this week, McAuley had previously pleaded guilty to false imprisonment and intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm.

Tully met McAuley while he was serving a 10 and a half year sentence for killing garda Jerry McCabe during an attempted robbery in 1996.

He was granted temporary release in 2003 so the pair could be married. Even at this stage of their relationship some signs of McAuley’s violent personality began to show.

“You make excuses for someone. You think ‘oh, it’s because he’s in here. It’s because he’s in prison, it’s bound to have an impact’. I passed no remarks. I just didn’t dwell on it. Maybe I didn’t want to,” said Tully.

Problems emerge 

After he released from prison and they began to live together that more problems began to arise, with McAuley’s drinking becoming a growing problem.

Pauline Tully describes how it started with a threat of violence:

The first day he put his hand up around my throat. He hadn’t done anything but it was the threat of what he could do.

It was when they traveled up to Dublin to attend a function that things came to a head. During the evening McAuley had been drinking and was in a bad mood

After waking up in the middle of the night, McAuley hit Pauline Tully for the first time, something that led to her to seek a barring order against her husband.

Christmas Eve last year 

On Christmas Eve last year the incident happened that McAuley was jailed for.

Initially plans had been put in place for him to spend Christmas with Tully and their two boys.


In the days leading up to it, Tully received word from a friend of McAuley’s that he had been drinking again, leading her to assume that he would not be in a fit condition to come along.

On the day, a phone conversation at around 10am that Tully had with McAuley convinced her there was no problem, and it was agreed that McAuley would be around to the family home at around 1pm.

Around an hour later he showed up to the house looking “very rough, very bad tempered”.

As soon as he came in he lifted his fist in the air and just hit me in this eye here. In my left eye. I got such a shock. And the two boys who were standing on the stairs, they got such a shock.

He then stayed in the house for three and a half hours, stabbing Tully 13 times.

She explained that there had been a misconception that the stabbing had been done in a frenzied attack.

There were different time when he would come and he would stab me. He would look and see where he [was going to do it], more or less. I would keep fighting him with my hands.

During this time McAuley brought her children in and made them say goodbye to their mother.

During this he told Tulley that he thought she was having an affair and demanded the name of the person she was having an affair with.

Eventually she gave him a fake name in order to appease him, something that saw him relax and stop the stabbing attacks.

After becoming more intoxicated, McAuley passed out on the ground, giving Tulley an opportunity to escape.

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

Also: Jerry McCabe-killer’s sentence for ‘vicious’ attack was too light, says Mary Lou

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.