The dad-of-three was attacked outside his home in Strabane by rivals who had flown in from the UK to attend a family event.
The Sunday World can reveal McDonagh was attacked in revenge for his involvement in another knife attack seven years ago in Castlederg, Co Tyrone, where another man was stabbed.
For seven full years bad blood festered unbeknown to McDonagh. At midday on Monday, Michael paid for the crime he admits committing.
“It’s true what they have said about the stabbing but it was so long ago that I thought it had been forgotten about.
“But I was wrong about that. I wasn’t expecting what happened at all but it did, I hope it’s done with now. I’ve paid for what I did,” he told the Sunday World.
“I am disgusted by what happened. My wee girl was in the house. She didn’t see what happened, she didn’t see me get slit but she seen me afterwards. She’s four years-of-age,” he said.
Fears are now growing that another bloody feud is on the cards though there has been calls from community leaders for calm and mediation before someone loses their life.
But Mr McDonagh says he doesn’t want any retaliation attacks for what happened to him.
“I don’t want any revenge, I just want to forget about it, move on and get on with my life. I don’t want any more trouble, let the police deal with it.”
The Sunday World obtained shocking footage and images of the victim who was attended by neighbours who desperately tried to stem the blood that was flowing from his neck.
He also had knife injuries to his legs.
His red sports top was drenched in blood as one neighbour held towels to the wound as they desperately waited for paramedics to come while encouraging him to stay awake as the shock visibly set in.
Such was the extent of the blood Mr McDonagh was convinced he was going to die and was heard asking for his children so he could see them one last time.
Mr McDonagh’s a lucky man – with medics saying the slash just missed the main artery. He has since left hospital but will be scarred for life.
The Sunday World can reveal that McDonagh and his family believe they were under surveillance in the days before the attack.
McDonagh, who is in his twenties, was slashed and stabbed as he sat in his car outside his home and was found lying by the vehicle.
He was helped onto a neighbour’s dining room chair on the street while they frantically battled, what they believed then was to save his life.
“I heard all this shouting and looked over and saw him (McDonagh), his shirt was red so initially I thought he been drinking and what was blood was drink that was spilled. It didn’t take long to realise something bad had happened so I rushed over to help,” said one neighbour, who asked not to be identified.
“There was blood everywhere, gushing, but after speaking to the paramedics on the phone we knew it was not an artery. It didn’t hit the jugular but it was very close, a fraction away from it being fatal.
“After that we just tried to keep him calm and stop the blood as best we could. He was crying for his kids, saying he was going to die but I told him, not today man,”.
The Sunday World understands that the attack was carried out by two men who are based in the UK.
According to one source the attack on McDonagh was opportunistic.
“They didn’t plan to come to Strabane to try and get revenge on Michael McDonagh. It was a case they were in the area and found out by chance that he was close by and thought why not?
“It’s about time he got what was coming to him. What (he has been accused of) happened seven years ago but that doesn’t matter,” a source revealed.
When the Sunday World spoke to Mr McDonagh he insisted he would not be leaving the Strabane area though he was witnessed taking belongings from the house where he was attacked.
“I am at home now and I won’t be leaving,” he added.
“Detectives are investigating an incident in Carlton Drive in Strabane the afternoon of Monday, 27 June, during which a man was injured,” a police spokesperson said. “Police and other emergency services responded to the incident, which was reported shortly after midday.
“Upon arrival, a man, aged in his twenties, who had sustained a number of slash-type wounds to his body was located at the scene, beside a vehicle on the street. NIAS transferred the male victim to hospital for treatment of his injuries which, at this time, are not believed to be life-threatening.
“An investigation is underway to determine what happened, who was involved and a motive.”
Detective Sergeant Ballentine said: “If you witnessed what occurred or, if you have information about this incident and have not yet spoken to police, I would urge you to make contact with us. The number to call with information is 101, quoting reference number 746 of 27/06/22.”