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Horse fair victim’s horror at savage machete injuries

THIS is the teenager who nearly had his arm sliced off when he was attacked by travellers at the Smithfield horse fair.

Wesley McDonagh (17) left with blood pouring from a savage wound across his arm after the brutal attack.

The youth is a champion boxer and fears now that he will never fight again.

Gardai believe they have identified the two gunmen who opened fire at the Smithfield horse fair, sparking chaos which had families running for their lives. Feuding traveller factions armed with sticks, iron bars, slash hooks, machetes and guns set upon each other at the world famous horse fair as terrified children looked on.

Gunmen

The suspected gunmen have been identified from photograph and video footage and are now the subject of a massive garda manhunt.

Detectives believe that the man arrested following the violence was paid money by the shooters to dump the .22 calibre pistol used in the shooting.

The man, who is in his 40s and from the south inner city, is still being grilled by detectives at the Bridewell Garda Station this morning. He was picked up by gardai after they discovered the pistol during a search of the Oliver Bond flats complex in the south inner city.

The Herald has learned that three bullets were fired from the weapon but miraculously failed to hit anyone in the area Father-of-two John McInerney (21) from Clara, co Offaly and another Offaly man are recovering in hospital after both were shot in the leg in the violent disturbances.

They were hit by pellets fired from a home-made shotgun which was made safe by an army bomb disposal team.

The second man has been transferred to a hospital in the midlands from the Mater.

The feud which sparked Sunday's violent attacks is believed to have begun with a bloody bare-knuckle boxing fight in Waterford four years ago. There have been hundreds of tit-for-tat attacks over the past two years resulting in arson and gun attacks, slash hook violence, stabbings and horse mutilation.

Boxer Wesley McDonagh was forced to tie a black bin-liner around his wrist to stem the blood flowing from a gaping wound just above his left elbow.

He lost eight pints of blood and had three metal plates inserted in his left arm during a 10-hour operation. Speaking from his hospital bed where he is under garda protection, Wesley said: “I suddenly heard gunshots. I didn't know what was going on. I just turned around and saw this fella coming down on my head with a machete.

“Straight away I put my arm up to shield myself and the blade just cut into my arm at the elbow. Otherwise it would have came right down on my head.”

Watching his son hooked up to machines in the High Dependency Unit, Charlie McDonagh (42) said his son was completely innocent and the attack had left his sporting future in tatters.

“My son was an innocent victim. He has never been in trouble,” he said. “He was boxing since he was five and has won belts and amateur titles. He wanted to represent Ireland at the Olympics but that is all over now Gardai last night appealed for anybody who might have photographs or video footage of the incidents to contact them.