McDonald says Pearse McAuley sentence ‘very light’

Sinn Féin TD Martin Ferris previously picked republican up from jail after term for garda killing

Pearse McAuley leaves Cavan Courthouse following his sentencing for the Christmas 2014 attack on his wife Pauline Tully. Photograph: Lorraine Teevan

Pearse McAuley leaves Cavan Courthouse following his sentencing for the Christmas 2014 attack on his wife Pauline Tully. Photograph: Lorraine Teevan

 

Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary-Lou McDonald has said the sentence given to prominent republican Pearse McAuley for a frenzied assault on his estranged wife was “very light”.

McAuley, one of the convicted IRA killers of Det Gda Gerry Mc Cabe, was sentenced to 12 years for assault causing harm on Pauline Tully McAuley on Christmas Eve last year at the home they once shared in Kilnaleck, Co Cavan.

She was stabbed 13 times with a knife McAuley pulled from his pocket and sustained four broken fingers.

Judge John Aylmer sentenced McAuley to 12 years but suspended the last four upon McAuley entering into a bond to keep the peace and be of good behaviour for a period of four years upon his release.

Asked about the court case and sentencing at a Sinn Féin press conference on Friday morning, Ms McDonald said said both the case and the experiences of Ms Tully McAuley were “absolutely shocking, absolutely vicious”.

Although the Dublin Central deputy said it is not for her to instruct the courts how to sentences, Ms McDonald said: “Yet again we see, a very light sentence in my view, given the scale, the viciousness and the premeditated nature of that crime.”

She was also asked about Sinn Féin TD Martin Ferris collecting Mr McAuley following his earlier release from prison for the murder of Det Gda McCabe.

Ms McDonald said: “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 who 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 it does a service to victims of domestic violence.”