Thursday 15 November 2018

Detective Garda Jerry McCabe killer held after wife is stabbed

Mother of two fighting for her life after frenzied knife attack

Pearse McAuley and Pauline Tully on their wedding day 11 years ago
Pearse McAuley and Pauline Tully on their wedding day 11 years ago
The scene of the shooting at Adare, Co Limerick
Detective Garda McCabe was killed in Adare, Co Limerick, in June 1996 during the attempted robbery of a post office van

Paul Williams, Kevin Doyle and Brian Byrne

One of the men convicted of the killing of Detective Garda Jerry McCabe was in garda custody last night after a frenzied knife attack on his wife.

Pearse McAuley, who is in his late 40s, was being questioned by officers after they were alerted to an incident at his home in Cavan.

The Irish Independent understands that Pauline McAuley suffered several stab wounds and underwent emergency surgery for a punctured lung last night.

Ms McAuley, who is a secondary school teacher in her late 40s, is a former Sinn Fein councillor and a mother of two.

Gardai were called to the couple's home in Kilnaleck, Co Cavan, yesterday afternoon where they found Ms McAuley in a serious condition.

A source said: "She is fighting for her life. She had been stabbed a number of times and the scene was extremely bloody."

Mr McAuley, the IRA man sentenced to 14 years in prison for his part in the killing of Detective Garda Jerry McCabe, was arrested nearby.

"He was uncooperative and tried to evade gardai," a source said.

The scene at Kilnaleck was preserved pending a full garda technical examination. A Garda spokesperson confirmed that a suspect was being held at Cavan Garda Station under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984.

Sinn Fein last night refused to comment on the incident.

Mr McAuley, from Strabane in Co Tyrone, was one of four IRA men who pleaded guilty to the 1996 manslaughter of Mr McCabe.

He was collected from prison by Sinn Fein TD Martin Ferris in 2009, having served just 10 years of his sentence.

At the time of his release from Castlerea Prison, Mr McAuley was wanted in Britain but the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to pursue him. He had been awaiting trial on conspiracy to murder and explosives charges when he escaped during the audacious jail-break from Brixton Prison in July 1991.

At the time of his release from Castlerea Prison, Mr McAuley was wanted in Britain but the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to pursue him. He had been awaiting trial on conspiracy to murder and explosives charges when he escaped during the audacious jail-break from Brixton Prison in July 1991.

Detective Garda McCabe was killed in Adare, Co Limerick, in June 1996 during the attempted robbery of a post office van.

Along with Michael O'Neill, Jeremiah Sheehy and Kevin Walsh, Mr McAuley had been charged with murder but the charge was dropped when key witnesses refused to co-operate after IRA intimidation.

Sinn Fein and the IRA continued to deny responsibility until after the four men were convicted.

The men were then immediately accepted as IRA prisoners and Sinn Fein fought a lengthy campaign for their early release as part of the Northern Ireland peace process.

Sinn Fein leaders alleged that their release had been included in the Good Friday Agreement.

This was strenuously denied by the then government, although the unit members were given favourable jail treatment by being transferred out of the top security jail in Portlaoise to their own bungalow in The Grove compound within the walls of Castlerea Prison.

Mr McAuley was granted temporary release from prison in 2003 to marry Cavan native Ms Tully, who had been a Sinn Fein councillor since 1999.

She first met him when she was on a Sinn Fein delegation meeting the garda killers in Castlerea and they got married six months later.

Irish Independent

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