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Shot criminal ‘The Mole’ fights for life after setback

A MAN who miraculously survived an assassination attempt is now battling to stay alive after suffering complications.

Anthony ‘The Mole’ McDonagh, who was shot five times in the side and chest during an attack two weeks ago, is now critical in hospital. McDonagh’s condition has worsened in recent days.

He has undergone life-saving treatment at Connolly Memorial Hospital in Blanchardstown and sources have suggested that the coming days will be of critical importance.


Uncle and nephew Anthony McDonagh (45) and Kieran McDonagh (26) were targeted by a lone gunman as they made their way to work.

They came under fire as they sat in their white Ford van after being stopped at what they thought were council roadworks in Finglas in west Dublin on Thursday, July 15.

The man standing in the road, who was wearing a highvisibility vest, walked over to the van and produced a 9mm handgun.

He began firing, hitting Anthony McDonagh in the side and chest. His nephew managed to get out of the van and tried to run to safety but he was shot in the shoulder. Just as he was about to finish off both men, the hitman’s gun jammed and he fled on foot.

Gardai are continuing to hunt the gunmen and are establishing a motive.

One theory is that, in 2008, a member of the McDonagh family gave evidence in the UK at the murder trial of another member of the Travelling community.

This man told the court that there was a “price on his head” and that he had been threatened with being shot because he was appearing as a prosecution witness. The other Traveller was subsequently found guilty of murder.

Associates of the man then reportedly put out a contract on the life of Anthony McDonagh in retaliation for his relative giving evidence.

The two factions are involved in a long-standing feud. A Finglas- based crime gang, once headed by recently murdered crime boss Eamon ‘The Don' Dunne, bought the contract to carry out the murder.

It is believed the gang were paid in the region of €40,000.

‘The Mole’ is known to gardai. In 2006 he was sentenced to three years in prison on two counts of assault causing harm after shooting and paid €38,000 in compensation to his victims.

In the first incident John Joseph McDonagh was working outside his caravan in Ballymun when Anthony McDonagh pulled up looking for a man named Charlie Ward.


Anthony McDonagh had a shotgun and shot John Joseph twice at close range in the back of both legs.

The court heard how McDonagh paid his victim £10,000 and they were no longer on bad terms, despite hospitalising his victim for a month.

Seven months later he shot Martin Ward in the thigh at Belcamp College, Dublin. Mr Ward received €25,000 from McDonagh and the court was told that Anthony McDonagh had sold everything, including land, to raise the compensation, according to his barrister.