John-Paul to shed golden locks as he faces Big Chop!

John Paul Conaghan will have his golden locks shorn tonight.
John Paul Conaghan will have his golden locks shorn tonight.

A Derry man will tonight lose the golden locks it has taken him a decade to grow - but it’s all for a good cause.

John-Paul Conaghan (29), from the Clooney area of Derry will this evening face a team of donaters armed with shears and scissors at Bennigans Bar after signing up to shed his locks in an event titled ‘The Big Chop’.

The Derry man is hoping to raise £3,000 for Foyle Search and Rescue to cover the costs needed to train, equip and clothe two volunteers.

His will also donate his ginger mane to the Little Princess Trust, which makes wigs for adults and children going through chemotherapy.

The Playhouse technician has had long hair for more than ten years and said he is now ready for the change.

He said: “I’m in work at the minute and I never have my hair down, it’s always back in a pony tail, so for the last 24 hours it is going to be down.

“I wanted to donate my hair and try and raise a little money for the amazing service these men and women provide for the people of Derry.

“Everyone in Derry knows the great work the volunteers do. They give up their own time and often holidays to ensure that people are safe.

“I decided to do it as well because of the whole ‘detox centre’ issue, Everybody knows somebody who suffers from these issues. I am going a bit thinner on top as well, and thought I might as well try to do my bit while I can to get this done.”

The Big Chop event will start from around 8.15pm at Bennigan’s tonight, Tuesday, with the pony tail being lobbed off at 9pm, followed by a series of sponsored sheer cuts.

John-Paul has friends and relatives coming from Dublin and Galway to witness the event, and the auctioned-off honour of cutting the ponytail is so far with his own partner after she bid £100, but the bidding process remains open.

“I need to thank everyone who has donated,” he said. “I really appreciate all your donations big and small so please join me in Bennigan’s Bar, on October 20 for the big chop.”

To donate go to