Pearse McAuley stabbed wife 13 times, court hears

Prominent republican pleaded guilty to attacking Pauline Tully McAuley at her home


The circumstances of an attack by prominent republican Pearse McAuley on his estranged wife in which she sustained 13 stab wounds were outlined at Cavan Circuit Court on Friday.

Pearse McAuley has pleaded guilty to attacking Pauline Tully McAuley at her home on Christmas Eve last year.

Ms Tully McAuley told the court McAuley had threatened to kill her and she would be living in fear of her life for the rest of her days. She said the incident had a horrific effect on their two children.

McAuley (50), who is originally from Strabane, but with an address in Ballyconnell, Co Cavan, pleaded guilty in June to the production of a knife in the course of a dispute at Kilderry, Kilnaleck, Cavan, on December 24th last year.

Serious harm

He also pleaded guilty to falsely imprisoning his estranged wife and with intentionally/recklessly causing serious harm to her on the same occasion.

In addition, he pleaded guilty to threatening to kill her brother Tommy Tully during the same incident.

Prosecuting counsel Monica Lawlor outlined how McAuley and his wife had split up in February last year and he was living away from the family home at an apartment in Ballyconnell.

She said on Christmas Eve morning last year he had made arrangements with his wife to meet their children at her home at 1pm.

However, she said he had turned up at 11am unannounced and intoxicated and proceeded to attack her, accusing her of having another man in front of their seven- and five-year-old boys.

Ms Lawlor described McAuley repeatedly knifing his estranged wife as she lay on the kitchen floor in a pool of her blood during what became a two-and-a-half-hour attack.

Crawled away

She eventually crawled away and notified a neighbour who barely recognised her at first because of her injuries, she said.

The neighbour went to Ms Tully McAuley’s brother Tommy’s home and alerted him. Tommy Tully came upon McAuley, who had a boulder in his hands and was threatening the car which Ms Tully McAuley had locked herself into.

Ms Lawlor said Mr Tully then hit McAuley and McAuley threatened to kill him and his sister.

McAuley then went to a neighbour and tried to get him to bring him to Cavan, but when the man said he would bring him to Mr Tully’s he became aggressive. McAuley was eventually found in a ditch by gardaí who had arrived on the scene.

Ms Lawlor said a doctor’s report stated Ms Tully McAuley had a collapsed lung and blood in another lung along with multiple lacerations to her hands and neck.

Impact on children

Ms Tully McAuley told the court of the impact the incident had on the two children. The older boy had in a nightmare seen his father cutting off her head.

She said: “My youngest son has said he looked through the glass panel and witnessed his father putting the knife into me. Children should never have seen such things and they are both receiving counselling.

“I hope my sons have a better, brighter and happier Christmas this year.”

Eanna Mulloy SC, defending, asked her whether she had received a letter from McCauley in June last year. She said she had received a letter which was delivered by a garda but she refused to accept it.

Mr Mulloy said McAuley had been a victim of the conflict in Northern Ireland and on his release in 2009 he had worked for reconciliation. He added that McAuley is an alcoholic.

Mr Mulloy asked Judge Alymer to consider the contents of the unopened letter of remorse from McAuley.

Judge John Aylmer adjourned sentencing to Wednesday next.