€11k raised for little Molly in close shave by teachers and parents
VICE principal Darragh McGonigle had a close shave when she put her hair in 12 plaits — and invited her pupils to chop them off.
Ms McGonigle did it to raise funds for Molly McNally (5), who last October was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, an aggressive cancer.
The whole community at Balscadden national school near Balbriggan, Co Dublin, came together yesterday to support Molly.
The little girl, who had just been discharged from hospital yesterday morning after a major operation, watched with glee while Darragh had her remaining tufts shaved off.
School principal Chris White and five fathers joined in the fun and had their heads shaved too for the fundraiser.
Ms McGonigle said: “Molly’s one of mine. She’s in my junior infants class.
“I’m the wrong side of 40 and I thought there would be a shock value in shaving off my hair which would help to raise money.”
Parent and hairdresser Lesley McIntyre plaited Darragh’s hair and Molly stepped up to chop off the first plait.
Molly’s sister Jill and brother James chopped off two more while Darragh’s own children, Lainey, Ben and Mike, hacked off the next three.
Other pupils, who had donated their Confirmation money to the cause, stepped in to help and Chris White cut off the final plait, watched by Molly’s parents Gerry and Emma.
Sisters and former pupils Vikki McNamara and Rebecca Grimes, both former barbers, then shaved the seven heads.
Parents Vincent O’Connor, Philip Baker, James Collins, Eliot Noble and Warren Murray had all agreed to go under the scissors.
Warren kept a few follicles and had them dyed a bright maroon colour.
Master of Ceremonies, Ruairi Harkin from 6th class, asked Darragh if she would have her eyebrows shaved too but she politely declined.
At the end Darragh stood on a chair and held a delighted Molly up to the crowd. Emma was overcome with emotion. “I just feel so emotional every time I think of it. The support is beyond belief.”
She explained that Molly had a primary tumour removed from above her adrenal glands last Friday and faces at least a further year of treatments.
The next hurdle is to build up her immune system for stem cell harvest for a bone marrow transplant.
Emma explained the money is needed in case Molly requires further treatments outside the scope of the HSE.
Yesterday’s event had raised €11,000 by the end of the head shaving. Anyone who wants to donate can do so through the website