Friday 15 December 2017

How Dave hit the right note with Molly

Dave Marron and Molly McMahon first kissed in a garage, and have been filling each other with joy since then

Dave Marron and Molly McMahon are running the Carrickmacross Arts Festival together. Photo: Mark Condren
Dave Marron and Molly McMahon are running the Carrickmacross Arts Festival together. Photo: Mark Condren
Andrea Smith

Andrea Smith

Dave Marron has a thing for redheads. Luckily so does Molly McMahon. When they first met, they bonded over a shared love of music and began dating, but neither expected that the relationship would be for life.

"It was a summer fling that turned into ten summers," laughs Dave, 33. "I don't think either of us was thinking long term. Every time I spoke to Molly, I had butterflies and I definitely fancied her straight away. What I liked was her humour and intelligence and I loved her eyes and dimples. I just thought we were very compatible from the off."

Molly and Dave are both from Carrickmacross, and they were part of a large gang that loved music and gigs. Dave was lead singer/songwriter of the band Sanzkrit when they met in 2006, and Molly, seven years younger, was in fifth year at school.

"Dave was this older guy in a band, and he was like no one else I knew," says Molly, now 27. "He seemed so together and knew what he was going to be. He has lovely eyes, very nice hair and I also had a thing for gingers. He was very attentive, and I also liked that he was tall."

Their first kiss happened when they were out postering with friends for Dave's band's gig, and it took place in a filling station. "Very romantic," says Molly. "We will always have Topaz. We didn't go out straight away as I had previously been in a long relationship and felt I should be sensible and not get tied up with anything else. That lasted about two months as I really liked him."

When Molly changed her mind, she dropped some hints for Dave to ask her out, which he happily took. At the time, she was living in Monaghan and Dave was living and working in Dublin. Aside from being in the band, he was also working as an architectural technician, as he studied both mechanical engineering and CAD after school. He's the eldest of Pat and Una Marron's three children, and was always very musical.

Dave left the world of architecture around the time of the recession, which coincided with the band becoming bigger and releasing an album. They pursued it full-time for several happy years, and are coming together again for the forthcoming Carrickmacross Arts Festival. Dave is now working as a community arts officer with South Monaghan Arts.

Molly has changed career path too, as while she studied humanities at St. Patrick's with the intention of becoming a teacher, she changed her mind and embarked on a career in accountancy. She now works as a bookkeeper for Dooley Agri, and is the youngest of Bernie and Noel McMahon's five children.

Molly and Dave have been living together for six years, and are hopeful that marriage and children will figure in their future. Life is great, although they are currently both up to their eyes with the organisation of the Carrickmacross Arts Festival as Dave is the chairperson and Molly is the treasurer and volunteer liaison. They have an amazing, hard-working committee of 14 and a group of 50 committed volunteers.

"Molly and I had always talked about running a proper festival in County Monaghan for original bands and artists," says Dave. "We said it to some friends who shared our vision, formed a committee and ran it in 2014 as a fundraiser for a derelict building in Carrickmacross. It was a big risk, so we kept it fairly small the first year, and a lot of bands we were friends with did favours for us and weren't charging big money."

Now in its third year, 'Ireland's biggest small festival' is situated on the grounds of Callans of the Bridge in Carrickmacross. This year's musical line-up includes Delorentos, Kila, Wallis Bird, The Frank & Walters, Declan O'Rourke, Wyvern Lingo, Jinx Lennon, Sanzkrit and many more, while there is also comedy by Barry Murphy and more. As the venue only holds 1,000 people, fans will get to see their favourite bands at close range, and tickets can be purchased for the entire weekend or for individual days.

Dave says he's the one that comes up with extravagant ideas, and Molly reins him in. She's also very good at diffusing his stress. "I remind him to eat and go to bed," she says. "My major role at the minute is just making sure he doesn't die. Dave is so creative, and while he can get high in the sky thinking about all of the things we can do with the festival, it's also a big thing that I love about him."

Looking back over the past year, Dave and Molly say that they have had some crazy highs and dreadful lows. The high points were that Molly's brother Colla and Dave's sister Fiona both got married, and Molly also got a brand new nephew Calvin. Then there were some terribly sad events, as Dave lost two uncles, one to cancer and the other in a house fire, while Molly's cousin died of cancer in May aged 41.

"Molly is always there for me, and when we go through hard times, she knows what to say," says Dave. "She keeps me positive and gets my head out of a crisis."

This year, Dave's band have come together to perform at the festival, and their biggest fan, Molly, is particularly excited about that.

"I still really fancy Dave on stage," she says.

"I can't wait for the festival so I can drop whatever I'm doing and go and fangirl over him on stage."

The Carrickmacross Arts Festival runs from August 11-14. Further info on

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