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Drugged up teen killer of tragic Melanie gets TV to watch Euros

Crime DeskBy Patrick O'Connell
Daniel McDonnell and tragic Melanie
Daniel McDonnell and tragic Melanie

McDonnell is to have a new flat-screen TV fitted in his prison cell ahead of the Ireland v Sweden game – after smashing his old one in a drug-induced rage.

McDonnell, who is serving life for the murder of 16-year-old Melanie McCarthy McNamara, obliterated his television while “high as a kite” earlier this week.

McDonnell is forced to spend 23 hours a day in the cell for his own safety as fears continue that a bounty remains on his head over Melanie’s murder.

“McDonnell went absolutely nuts in his cell on Monday, smashing anything he could lay his hands on,” a source revealed.

“By the time prison staff unlocked the door the TV was in bits. McDonnell was off his head on drugs and he was given medical treatment.

“The TV is being replaced and, even though a lot of people will disagree, it’s probably a good thing because it’s the only thing that keeps him sane.”

Daniel McDonnell

Sources confirmed to the Sunday World that the TV will be paid for out of McDonnell’s taxpayer-funded daily gratuity.

“Inmates pay for their own televisions at a rate of 19 cents a day, taken from the daily €2.35 gratuity,” the source continued.

This week’s incident is the latest in a string of disciplinary offences under-threat killer McDonnell has been involved in while battling with authorities in Wheatfield Prison for increased time outside his cell.

The Sunday World revealed in May of 2015 how McDonnell was caught with a mobile phone in the same prison cell.

And in September of last year he was hit with P19 prison disciplinary proceedings after setting off the sprinkler in his cell.

McDonnell was convicted of the February 8, 2012, murder of Melanie, who was gunned down as she sat in a car with her fiancé in Tallaght, West Dublin, in January 2014.

The case against McDonnell centred on letters he wrote in prison in which he had bragged about killing Melanie.

In one of the notes McDonnell boasted: “Close-range head shots. That’s what I’m going for. Two in the head. The bitch is dead. Ha ha.

“Left his bitch all over the Sunday World front page. Best night of my poxy life.”

The teenage killer is a junior member of a Ballyfermot-based crime gang who were locked in a feud with a Tallaght-based traveller mob.

In July of last year the Court of Appeal overturned a High Court decision that his detention in solitary confinement for a year breached his rights to bodily and psychological integrity.

McDonnell was placed in solitary after it emerged a €10k bounty had been placed on his head.

Melanie McCarthy McNamara

However, his lawyers had argued the 23-hour lock up regime at Wheatfield Prison was disproportionate and violated his rights.

McDonnell claimed he only had one hour outside his cell to do chores and exercise. He asked the prison authorities to be allowed mix with other prisoners, but claimed his requests were refused. He claimed he was finding it difficult to cope and his health has suffered.

In its judgement the Court of Appeal found it is for the prison authorities to decide what measures are necessary for the safety of prisoners.