Sunday 22 September 2019

Former wife of garda killer convinced to run for Sinn Féin in next election

Pauline Tully has been given assurances about standing. Picture: Lorraine Teevan
Pauline Tully has been given assurances about standing. Picture: Lorraine Teevan
Pearse McAuley repeatedly stabbed his estranged wife. Photo: Lorraine Teevan

Dean Gray

The former wife of convicted garda killer Pearse McAuley has announced she will return to politics and plans to run for Sinn Féin at the next general election.

Pauline Tully, who nearly died at the hands of twisted McAuley in a brutal attack on Christmas eve 2014, said her decision came following reassurances from Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald that she would be given full support regarding her family commitments.

Ms Tully is the mother of two young sons who witnessed their father's attack on her which left her with 13 stab wounds.

McAuley repeatedly stabbed his estranged wife with a steak knife as she lay on the kitchen floor in a pool of blood during a two-and-a-half-hour attack.

At one stage McAuley brought the children into the room and made them say goodbye to their mother.

During his trial, Ms Tully told the court about the impact the attack had on the two children.

"The older boy had in a nightmare seen his father cutting off my head. 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," she said.

The Court of Appeal increased his original sentence for the attack from eight years to 12 years with two suspended.

Despite consistently ruling herself out of the running again for Sinn Féin citing "family commitments", Ms Tully changed her mind following discussions with Ms McDonald.

TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has previously announced he will not run in the next election and Ms McDonald has said her preference is to have a gender balanced ticket in the Cavan/Monaghan constituency.

Ms Tully has over 13 years experience as a local councillor.

Speaking to the 'Anglo Celt', she said: "I missed the council since I left it. I didn't think it would be possible to be elected to Dáil Éireann and mind two young boys as a single parent but a lot of people urged me to reconsider.

"When Mary Lou approached me she outlined a weekly schedule and what it would be like at the coalface and what she could do to make it possible for me to run."

Ms Tully met McAuley while he was serving a sentence for killing Det Garda Jerry McCabe.

Irish Independent

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