“Domestic violence is totally wrong, no matter who or where or when it’s perpetrated, and I’d just encourage anyone who’s a victim of domestic violence to do something about it, look for support, and stand up for themselves,” said Pauline Tully.
The mother-of-two was speaking outside Cavan Circuit Criminal Court yesterday after her former husband, Garda killer Pearse McAuley, was jailed for an attack on his then wife, during which she was stabbed 13 times in front of their children.
The attack, which lasted two-and-a-half-hours, occurred on Christmas Eve last.
McAuley was sentenced to 12 years in prison with the final four suspended. With remission, McAuley, who is 50-years-old, could be released in five years.
McAuley had previously spent time in jail for his part in the killing of Detective Garda Jerry McCabe.
He served 10 years of a 14-year sentence for the manslaughter of the garda, who was shot dead while on duty in Adare, Co Limerick in 1996.
“I’m living with the impact of what happened but I have to be strong for my two little boys and that’s what’s most important,” said Ms Tully, speaking to RTÉ News yesterday.
“It’s been difficult for them but I’ve got good support around me to help them along the way and to cope with what they’ve been through.”
In June, McAuley admitted falsely imprisoning Ms Tully at the family home in Kilderry, Kilnaleck, Co Cavan, and assaulting her.
He also pleaded guilty to the production of a knife, and of threatening to kill Ms Tully’s brother when he came to her rescue.
Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams praised Ms Tully, a former Sinn Féin councillor, for speaking out about the attack.
“Pauline Tully was the victim of a vicious and violent assault. I want to extend my solidarity to her, to her two boys, and to her family who have all come through a terrifying and very difficult ordeal,” he said.
“Domestic violence is a serious problem in Irish society and a harrowing experience for its victims. More needs to be done to tackle violence against women.”