The 7th Irish Red Head Convention took place this year in Crosshaven, 19th-21st and once again was a great success.Ireland has the second highest proportion of redheads at 10%, but up to 40% are believed to be carriers of the ginger gene.
From carrot tossing championships and live music on the Foxygen and ElectRED Picnic stages, to seminars on redhead history and ginger speed dating, there was something for every redhead and redhead appreciator at the Irish Redhead Convention!A number of redhead competitions were held: the reddest eyebrows or the world’s greatest ginger beard.The highlight of the weekend was the coronation of the new King and Queen of Redheads.This year was the first time that the Irish Redhead Convention hosted the MOGO (Music of Ginger Origin) Awards, with public votes already counting towards crowning winners such as Best Irish Ginger Musician, Services to MOGO and Best Ginger Newcomer.
On the ElectRED picnic stage, Red Shearin performed as redhead farmer Michael O’Sullivan and PJ Lynch co-hosted a sheep shearing demonstration. Mind boggling magic, mentalism and close-up illusions were performed by redhead television magician Rua.
Jacky Colliss Harvey gave a seminar on the most influential Irish redheads in our history and discussed important red hair throughout the ages.To add some fun and to include all, there was a variety of competitions for both red headed: humans and dogs. Various sports included: bowling, tug of war, parachute activities and obstacle course. A guided tour of Cork harbour by boat was also on offer.There was a beautiful farmers’ craft market , the red head parade through the village, the group photograph and live music in selected local bars.Speed dating had gingers flirting and introducing themselves to all. In the past, we have had at least one wedding from it and a number of couples started dating each other. In the silent disco the gingers danced to the music from their earphones. There were 2 djs and the audience listened and danced to the music, via headphones. The audience picked the favourite music and dj. For the active :yoga sessions and circuit training classes were held. Jorg Koster had a beautiful photograph exhibition of red heads and our local artist Kerry Collins had a painting exhibition of her painting of local red head residents. It was a whacky festival of ginger loving madness, nick named by locals as the foxyfest. In Crosshaven we prefer the term foxy to ginger!
It brought tourism to our local village and it was for a good cause. Gingers suffer a form of racism called gingerism and this brought people together to take pride in their Irish ginger heritage and support one another. They shared stories and experiences. It was wonderful to see such pride in our beautiful Celtic pale, freckled skin and red hair.
Locals volunteered and helped direct traffic and help strangers with directions. The local businesses offered discount to red-gistered redheads. Red-gisted members were given a wristband, as proof of payment. There was €1 of all rides in the merries. A free pint in Cronin’s pub, the family pub of organiser and founder Joleen Cronin. Cork Airport Hotel offered 10% discount of their rates and Carrigaline Court Hotel offered a special red head rate. IMIJ hair salon offered a blow dry of anyone’s red locks for a bargain €15. The Oar Bar was offering a meal of burger, chips and a pint for €6, greatly discounted. Rejuvenate beauty salon gave a 20% discount. The local chipper offered a €3 discount off any meal. Hong Kong Chef, our local chinese offered 10% discount off all €50 orders. The River’s End Cafe offered €1 off take away cups coffees and Centra offered 50% off their ice-creams.
20% of all funds went to Irish Cancer Society.Once again the Irish Cancer Society was delighted to be the nominated charity for the Irish Redhead Convention. This fantastic event raises awareness around skin cancer, the most common cancer in Ireland and for their sun smart campaign( use sun cream and cover -up, stay off of sun from 11- 3 daily) as well as raising much needed funds.
The Irish Cancer Society is Ireland’s national cancer charity. The Irish Cancer Society provides information, support and care to those with, and affected by, cancer all over Ireland. Their services are professional, confidential and free of charge. They are almost entirely funded through the generosity of the public and receive less than 5% government funding.The National Cancer Helpline freefone is 1800 200 700.The Irish Cancer Society is a registered charity. What a great charity to support and the gingers of Ireland were united in fun! To date the Convention has raised over €30,000 for Irish Cancer, well done all!