herald

Wednesday 22 November 2017

'The Mole' kept under 24-hour armed guard after leaving hospital

A notorious Traveller criminal who required extensive hospital treatment since being shot 18 months ago is back living at home after walking out of hospital.

Armed gardai watched on as Anthony 'The Mole' McDonagh left the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dun Laoghaire yesterday afternoon before he was driven to his home at Dunsink Lane, Finglas.

'The Mole' will continue to receive 24-hour armed garda protection because of fears that the dangerous mob who shot him in July, 2010 will target him again.

This means that the taxpayer will be forking out a figure of over €180,000 this year for the security operation to keep McDonagh alive.

A source explained: "He is still ill but he has most of his faculties -- for example, he has no difficulty speaking. He has made a massive recovery since he first went into hospital -- the initial medical advice had been that he had no chance of survival. He was at death's door for a number of weeks. There is still an active threat against this man and garda management have decided that he should continue to have permanent full protection because of the level of threat against him."

'The Mole' spent well over a year at Blanchardstown's Connolly Memorial Hospital before being transferred to the hospital in Dun Laoghaire. In preparation for his permanent release from hospital, the criminal was released from hospital for a few days over Christmas and has also been returning home.



BLASTED

McDonagh was blasted five times by a lone gunman in broad daylight on the River Road in Finglas in July, 2010. The gun suspect is from Ballymun and has been arrested but released without charge.

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

The gunman approached the van and produced a 9mm handgun. He began firing, hitting Anthony McDonagh in the side and 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 chief suspect in the case is one of Ireland's most dangerous criminals and is strongly linked to a spate of unsolved gangland murders carried out by the gang which was led by slain crimelord Eamon 'The Don' Dunne.

He is currently on remand in jail where he is facing a number of charges related to armed robberies.

'The Mole' got into a cash dispute with The Don's gang in 2010 and they decided to murder him.

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' made a death threat to the injured man's rivals -- on live radio.

The chilling warning was issued by a man who called a Dublin radio show, days before the first anniversary of the attempted murder of McDonagh. "He ('The Mole') is going looking for the fellas and putting a bullet in their heads. That's a fact," the caller stated.

kfoy@herald.ie

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