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How taxpayer is shelling out €500k to save 'The Mole'

THIS is the convicted criminal who has cost taxpayers more than €500,000 in the past year.

Anthony 'The Mole' McDonagh (45), from Finglas, is under 24-hour armed garda surveillance in Blanchardstown's Connolly Memorial Hospital.

He has been there since a gunman tried to shoot him on July 15, 2010.

The Herald can reveal that the taxpayer has forked out around €515,000 to pay for 'The Mole's' round-the-clock protection and care in hospital.



WAITING

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 the cost of keeping an armed guard by the criminal's bedside 24 hours per day, at the cost to the taxpayer of over €183,000 per year.

McDonagh, from Dunsink Lane in Finglas, has spent the last 51 weeks in the West Dublin hospital. Unlike thousands of ill people across the country, the criminal doesn't have to worry about waiting lists or the pain of being left on a hospital trolley for hours on end.

HSE figures released earlier this year show that it costs the state approximately €909 per day for an inpatient bed. This means medical care for McDonagh has cost almost €313,000 for the past 12 months alone.

This, on top of the massive security bill, means we are paying over €1,400 per day to ensure the safety of the notorious criminal.

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. Gardai fear McDonagh will be targeted as part of a vicious, long-standing feud with another Traveller family, the Joyces, after relatives of his testified to convict Martin Joyce in England in 2008.

He has been under surveillance for the past year after miraculously surviving an assassination attempt last July.

McDonagh was blasted five times by a lone gunman in broad daylight on the River Road in Finglas last July.



SHOULDER

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 McDonagh's to flee on foot.

McDonagh was critical in hospital for several weeks but he is now understood to be in a stable condition.

hnews@herald.ie


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