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Caring Gabrielle has a short cut to aid cancer victims

A ten-year-old modern-day Rapunzel is cutting off her long tresses, which stretch down to the bottom of her back, in aid of cancer.

Gabrielle Shannon, from Carlow, is getting the chop to raise funds for cancer care in St Vincent's Hospital.

She hopes her beautiful hair will be made into a wig, and given to a cancer patient.

Her mum Ann told the Herald that Gabrielle has been wanting to have her hair cut for the past year, but now she's bravely set a date after close family friend Ann Marie Griffin (33) died from lung cancer last year.

Gabrielle has only ever been to the hairdresser once, after she disastrously cut her fringe to her scalp just four weeks before her First Holy Communion last year.

On St Patrick's night, hairdresser Fiona Kearns will cut Gabrielle's 80cm locks right up to her ears at around 9.30pm at a special event in Carlow.

Gabrielle and her mum will then be free from the chores of washing, brushing, plaiting, and styling her hair.

Ann said: "She can't wait to get it done, and we'll have free food in Ewing's pub in Carlow. They're donating the venue, food and music."

Over 40 mini hot-air balloons with messages to deceased loved ones will also be released into the Carlow night sky that night.

To support the event, email dixieshannon137@yahoo.co