herald

Saturday 23 September 2017

'The Mole' back in hospital after relapse

A TRAVELLER criminal who requires 24-hour armed garda protection became seriously unwell after being released from hospital for Christmas and had to be rushed back for urgent medical care.

Shooting victim Anthony 'The Mole' McDonagh (45) had planned to spend a number of days at his home in Finglas over the festive period but the visit had to be cut short.

A source said: "Mr McDonagh ended up spending only about 24 hours at his home in Dunsink Lane -- it was a relief to some detectives because they would have had to spend Christmas Day protecting him there.

"Instead he was transferred back to hospital where he remains under armed guard."

'The Mole' has been under 24-hour armed garda surveillance in Blanchardstown's Connolly Memorial Hospital for almost 18 months now.

He miraculously survived an assassination attempt in July, 2010, when he was blasted five times by a lone gunman in broad daylight on the River Road in Finglas.

He and his nephew, Kieran McDonagh (26) were attacked as they sat in their van after being stopped at what they thought were roadworks.

The gunman approached the van and produced a 9mm handgun. He began firing, hitting Anthony McDonagh in the chest. His nephew tried to flee to safety but was shot in the shoulder. The gunman's firearm jammed, allowing the McDonaghs to flee on foot.

The Herald revealed that that the taxpayer has forked out over €600,000 to pay for 'The Mole's round-the-clock protection and care in hospital.

With the average bed costing over €900 per day, 'The Mole' ran up medical bills of around €313,000 in the last year alone.

That's on top of keeping an armed garda by the criminal's bedside 24 hours a day, at the cost of over €183,000 per year.

In 2006, McDonagh was sentenced to three years in prison after carrying out shootings on two men in 2002 -- one outside a caravan in Ballymun and another man on Malahide Road.

McDonagh paid compensation of €38,000 to his victims, John Joseph McDonagh and Martin Ward.

Last July, a friend of 'The Mole' McDonagh made a death threat to the injured man's rivals -- on live radio.

kfoy@herald.ie

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