THE chief suspect in the murder of a mum-of-three attempted to attack a priest in recent weeks. The suspect in the savage killing of 34-year-old Jacqueline McDonagh has a history of extremely violent behaviour, the Herald can reveal.
The murder victim -- who was in the movie Knuckle -- was brutally beaten to death at her home in Dundalk. Garda investigations are now focused on a man in his 30s who was known to Mrs McDonagh (right).
"This man's behaviour in recent times has been particularly erratic -- he even attempted to attack a priest," a source revealed.
“He has been heavily involved in a Traveller feud in Finglas that has been going on for well over a year at this stage – in fact he is one of the main instigators.
“This feud has seen lots of serious criminality including pipe bomb attacks, assaults and damage to property.
“The fact is that this man needed help from the health services a long time ago. It is no exaggeration to describe him as a psychopath – a real danger to those around him.”
Gardai have not yet made any arrests but are understood to be “sceptical” of reports that a masked two-man gang had broken into the property and assaulted Ms McDonagh with baseball bats.
Sources are investigating if the chief suspect attended the wedding of the son of gun victim Anthony ‘The Mole' McDonagh in Finglas on Tuesday.
Tensions were high at the wedding which took place in Finglas before a reception at Moran's Red Cow Hotel in Dublin.
There was an increase in garda patrols at the event after a caravan was burnt out in Balbriggan shortly before the wedding started.
A number of Travellers returned to Dublin from the UK for the event, which ‘The Mole' attended in a wheelchair after an attempt on his life in the summer of 2010.
It is understood that the murder suspect attended this event before travelling to Dundalk, where Jacqueline McDonagh was attacked in her home at 3.15am.
Her husband Michael Quinn McDonagh was in the house at the time along with the couple's three children, Chloe (14), Nikita (11) and Michael (5).
After his wife was attacked, it is understood that the well- known bareknuckle boxer ran through the College Manor estate in Dundalk, wearing only his boxer shorts, screaming: “She's dead, she's dead.”
Michael Quinn McDonagh and Jacqueline featured in the 2011 Ian Palmer-directed documentary Knuckle.
The director was first introduced to the world of Traveller bareknuckle boxing through their wedding.
At the wedding he met James Quinn McDonagh, Michael's brother and the McDonagh family champion fighter.
A post mortem on Ms McDonagh's body yesterday at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda confirmed that she died from injuries sustained during a vicious assault.