Monday 19 February 2018

Molly's big day with the Dubs

Molly at Croke Park for Dublin versus Wexford.
Molly at Croke Park for Dublin versus Wexford.

John Manning

A LOT is spoken about the courage our favourite sportsmen display on the field of play and rightly so, but when the Dubs got to meet a little five-year-old girl from Balbriggan recently, they were humbled by her bravery.

Little Molly McNally from Balbriggan is battling an aggressive form of childhood cancer and managing to do it all with a smile on her face.

Her story has spread like wildfire since it was first featured on the pages of the Fingal Independent earlier this year and recently, the football-mad Balbriggan girl and her equally courageous family, got to meet the heroes of the All-Ireland winning Dublin Senior Football team.

Molly's dad, Gerry, told the Fingal Independent how the meeting came about: 'Bernard Brogan, Paul Flynn and Ger Brennan met Molly a while ago at my father-in-law's place out in Raheny. A friend of his knows the lads and they came out to meet her and since then, they have kept in touch and stayed interested in Molly's progress.

'I've been going to Croke Park since I was 12-years-old and all the family are big into it - Dublin football is our religion in this house. We have started bringing Molly to the games when we can and she has really got into the swing of it too.'

The famous Hill 16 Army supporters group got to hear about Molly's story and got in touch with the Dublin County Board about it and soon, Gerry was answering the phone only to find the Dubs manager, Jim Gavin at the other end of the line.

'Jim Gavin rang me last week and said that since the Dublin lads had met Molly, they couldn't stop talking about her. He was a gentleman, we spoke all about Molly and didn't talk about football at all.

'He just wanted to know how she was and was there anything he could do to help.

'He said he wanted to invite Molly to the Dublin v Wexford game as a special guest of honour and he said he had laid on tickets for all the family to sit in the Hogan Stand.

'It was an amazing day. Molly got to go into the dressing room and meet all the lads and after the game, she went on the team bus to the Gibson Hotel and we all had dinner with the team.

'She even got a kiss from her favourite player, Bernard Brogan and she told me that she was never going to wash that side of her face again!'

Gerry wanted to thank everyone involved in putting the day together from the Hill 16 Army to Jim Gavin, the Dublin County Board and the players themselves who he said there the 'nicest bunch of lads you could hope to meet - they really made a fuss over Molly'.

The proud Balbriggan dad said it was a 'day to remember' for Molly and all the family and confessed: 'I felt like a bit of a kid myself - I don't know who was more excited.'

Fingal Independent

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