22 August 2015
By Bryan T. Smyth
The sixth annual Irish Redhead Convention got off to a fiery start yesterday afternoon! Hosted in the coastal village of Crosshaven, crowds of gingers from all over the globe arrived, some with their redhead-appreciating friends, to enjoy the weekend red fest.
Highlights of the Convention so far include the Red Crawl, a tour of all the pubs of Crosshaven, a wonderful musical lineup, and a craft market where all our official merchandise is selling out fast, including the much wanted “It’s a ginger thing, you wouldn’t understand” mug!
Looking ahead for the rest of the red-weekend, Convention attendees will be lucky enough to enjoy a seminar with Jacky Colliss Harvey about her new book, Red; the competitive Carrot Tossing Championships; the very unique way to meet your perfect match, Ginger Speed Dating and a musical lineup that’s sure to please the crowd along with redheadliner, Mary Coughlan!
And of course we cannot forget competition time and the much coveted titles of King and Queen of the Irish Redhead Convention!
And the winners are…
- Best Red Dog – Sandy from Tipperary, a first time attendee
- Best Red Eyebrows – Breege Finnerty From Galway, “Reddest Eyebrows you have ever seen in your life, that’s a fact!” according to judges
- Best Red Beard – Jan-Erick from Finland, who has been growing his beard for 10 months and once found two-day old pizza in it!
- Longest Red Hair – Nicole Sheehan from Kinsale, Co. Cork, whose hair length is 101cm. She won the title in 2013, for 86cm and has been growing it since.
- Curliest Red Hair – Euan Whelband from Clonakilty, Co. Cork, defending his title and is recognised on the street following his previous win.
- Youngest Redhead – Felix O’Donoghue from Dublin
- Furthest Travelled Redhead – Denis Garcia from El Centro California
- Most Freckles Per Square Inch – Carine Cosyns from Belgium, over 80 freckles per square inch!
Her husband Luke is a botanist and is developing a new hydrangea, which will flower in bright red in late summer. He wants to name the special flower “Redhead” after the convention.
- Most Porcelain Skin – Finbarr McDonnell from Monkstown, Co. Cork
- Best Redhead Family – The O’Neill Family with 12 redheads attending to represent the family
- Best Redhead Mum – Charlotte Lynch from Co. Clare
- Best Redhead Dad – Matt Dwyer from Dunboyne in Co. Meath
- Best Redhead Granny – Geraldine Palmer from Kilkenny
- Best Redhead Grandad – Brendan Keohane from Dunderrow, Co. Cork
- Best Redhead Couple – Mike & Joleen Mackay from San Francisco
- Best Wannabe Redhead – Bobby Aiken and David Mullholland from Belfast
- King of the Redheads – Alan Reidy from Blennerville, Co. Kerry, whose afro has made him a recognisable redheaded celebrity.
- Queen of the Redheads – Grainne Keena from Fermoy, Co. Cork, who was also a Fermoy Rose winner.
Following the title announcements and coronation of our new King and Queen, the ginger crowd took to the streets for one of the brightest parades around showing off how special it is to be a redhead.
Grainne Keena, the new Queen of the Redheads said: “It’s a true honour for me to be representing fellow redheads and I’m really happy to be a representative. I can’t wait for the year that follows and I’d like to say to every ginger out there to embrace their natural gingerness and to know it’s a true asset and a beauty to be very proud of.”
Alan Reidy, the new crowned king said: “It’s a great year to be ginger and we’re going to make it super special and we’re going to be everywhere, in your face, making sure everyone knows, be proud and be ginger!”
Emma Kelly, founder and editor of the Ginger Parrot, said: “It’s mind blowing that so many redheads can come together and show the rest of the world that they should be jealous.”
Joleen Cronin, organiser of the Convention, said: “It’s been overwhelming the amount of people that I’ve seen here this weekend. It’s incredible to see so many familiar faces and so many new faces.
“I’m excited about tomorrow’s program and I can’t wait to see Mary Coughlan!
“Thank goodness we have so much sunscreen today because the weather was amazing, we were blessed with the weather!”