THE family of Dublin man Paul Byrne feared for his life with wife Tanya Doyle and rang him every day to ensure he was safe before she murdered him, it has emerged.
Paul Byrne feared he would be killed by his wife in the three years before his murder – but stood by her, telling his worried siblings he married her until "death do us part".
Today, the family of the Dublin engineer told the Herald that they phoned him every day to ensure he was safe.
The victim's family spoke to the Herald after his wife was found guilty of murdering her husband in their home. He was stabbed and slashed more than 60 times in an attack at his home in Pairc Gleann Trasna, Tallaght, on September 4, 2009.
During the attack, Paul (48) managed to ring 999. Shocked emergency personnel listened to him pleading for his life as Tanya Doyle stabbed him repeatedly.
Our exclusive picture shows Paul Byrne and Tanya Doyle together at a family function.
Today, his family told the Herald how they feared for his life after Doyle stabbed him in a previous attack in 2006.
"Paul said he was scared for his life, but he also said Tanya was his responsibility. We used to ring him every day to make sure he was okay," his brother Noel said.
"There are no winners in this case. There is suffering on both sides, but we are glad that the truth is out now."
The Byrnes say Paul looked upon Tanya as a "lost soul he had to save".
He met Tanya Doyle on a blind date which was arranged by mutual friends. Paul – a project manager who worked in environmental control – was in his mid-30s by then and married Tanya when he was 40 in 2001.
"He would always call her 'my Tanya'," said Elaine.
"We knew she had had an unhappy childhood, we knew she had mood swings, and we knew she had a liking for valium. I didn't like her, but she made my brother happy. He was lonely for a long time," she added. It was in 2006 that alarm bells started to ring. Paul's family say that Tanya Doyle suffered from terrible bouts of jealousy, even though he was always loyal to her.
Evidence in the trial was heard that Tanya flew into a fit of rage after Paul had come home from a night out at the Stringfellow's club where he had viewed a lap-dance.
"It was Tanya that brought him there with another couple. It was her that organised the dance for him, and then she stormed home and waited for him to come home," said Noel.
"It was when he came home and was asleep that she stabbed him in the chest, puncturing his lung and narrowly missing his heart, and then stabbed him in the stomach," he added.
Paul was in fear of his life afterwards, with Noel ringing him daily because he was afraid she would stab his brother again.
"But when we'd say anything he would say 'that's my wife you're talking about' and threaten to hang up," Noel explained.
"He said he was scared for his life but that Tanya was his responsibility," said Noel.
Following this incident, Tanya voluntarily went to hospital for treatment and then moved into an apartment in the south of the city. Paul decided not to press charges against his wife.
In late 2008, she moved to Fuerteventura, in the Canary Islands, but was back a few months later, staying in the couple's Tallaght home.
In March 2009, she sold a story to a publication about running an escort agency. Following publication, she fled Ireland and travelled to Portugal and Africa. During this time, Paul gave her maintenance money of €1,300 a month.
She subsequently travelled to Africa.
In July 2009, a tearful Doyle rang Paul and told him she had no money, and nowhere to stay. He then decided to buy her a ticket to come home. Just six weeks later he was dead.
The trial had also heard how Tanya told gardai she owed €70,000 to several financial institutions. She claimed she had spent the money on breast implants and dental veneers. She told gardai she was angry that her husband wouldn't sign over their house to her, and that she had wanted a fresh start.
"One of the worst things for us was hearing the eight-minute recording of the 999 call he made," said Noel. "You could hear Paul was distressed, pleading and panicked. I lost count of the stabbing sounds after 16, and there was more than 70 in the end," said Elaine.
"Even after he went silent you could hear the stabbing continuing. She slashed his throat and voicebox," said Noel's wife Olive.
"We got the verdict we wanted. We feel Paul has been exonerated. Because it's a murder verdict the truth is out," Noel said.
"But if Paul had lived, he would have forgiven Tanya. I have forgiven her too, because not holding a grudge lifts a burden off me," he added.
"I don't think Tanya will ever be remorseful. I think she will find a way of justifying her actions to herself," Noel said.
He and his sister Elaine told of growing up with Paul in their native Sallynoggin, and how he had a great sense of humour and a hard-working ethos.
"He was always the practical joker as a young lad, and he was always the one to give you a bear-hug – a gentle giant," said Elaine.
"Paul had one serious relationship in his life and when that broke up in his mid-20s he was heartbroken. He met Tanya through a blind date organised by mutual friends," she added. "They met when Paul was in his late 30s and they married when he was 40."