NewsCrime Desk

Garda killer's visitor nabbed with package of tablets

Crime DeskBy Patrick O'Connell
Pearse McAuley
Pearse McAuley

WIFE-BEATING Garda killer Pearse McAuley is under in­vestigation by prison chiefs after officers foiled a sus­pected drugs drop during a visit from a close friend.

Sources have confirmed to the Sunday World that a visitor to McAuley at Castlerea Prison in recent weeks dropped a parcel containing 20 small tablets – suspected to be Valium – as they passed through security prior to a visit.

A source confirmed: "McAuley had a visit scheduled from a visitor. As they were walking though the search area a parcel was spotted on the ground and they picked it up and handed it to the officer. At the time they said the parcel was not theirs and the visit was allowed to proceed.

"While the visit was in progress, CCTV of the visiting area was reviewed and the officers observed that the package had fallen from the visitor’s clothes.

"After the visit ended they were questioned by officers and they admitted they had the tablets.

"The officers were told that the tablets were for personal use and the visitor claimed they were Valium. Gardaí were notified and the tablets were handed over to an investigating officer for analysis."

McAuley, one of the convicted IRA killers of Detective Garda Jerry McCabe, is serving a 12-year prison sentence for a frenzied attack on his estranged wife.

The assault on Pauline Tully happened on Christmas Eve, 2014, at the home they once shared in Kilnaleck, Co. Cavan.

McAuley (50), who is originally from Strabane, but with an address in Ballyconnell, Co. Cavan, was sentenced to three years for the production of a knife, six years for the false imprisonment of Ms Tully and four years for threatening to kill her brother, Tommy Tully.

McAuley attacked Ms Tully in front of their seven-year-old and five-year-old boys.

The court heard McAuley repeatedly stabbed 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.

Ms Tully 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 both their children. The older boy had a nightmare of seeing 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 am in absolute fear of him and fear that someday he will make another attempt on my life. I do not ever expect to enjoy a peaceful mind, but will live a life haunted by what happened to me."