Irish Redhead Convention: Thousands of gingers unite

Laoise Donavon, left, and Ruby Parker enjoy day 2 of the Irish Redhead Convention. Photo / AP
Laoise Donavon, left, and Ruby Parker enjoy day 2 of the Irish Redhead Convention. Photo / AP

An Irish village became a sea of red as more than 1,000 people gathered to celebrate their ginger hair at the weekend.

In what was the seventh annual Irish Redhead Convention, individuals sporting golden locks were invited to a "fun filled weekend of freckles and frolics" which included ginger speed dating and a carrot tossing championship.

Molly Murphy winner of the redhead with the most porcelain skin. Photo / AP
Molly Murphy winner of the redhead with the most porcelain skin. Photo / AP

Starting out as a joke between two siblings who came up with the idea in a pub, the event is now run by 50 volunteers.

Organiser Joleen Cronin told the Daily Mail the weekend is an "empowering and life-changing experience."

While redheads account for just 0.6 per cent of the world's population, Ireland is home to the second highest proportion of natural redheads, with 10 per cent of the total population growing ginger manes. Scotland comes in first with 13 per cent.

The festival runs over 40 competitions over the course of the weekend, with a prize for the best ginger beard up for grabs and the ordaining of a "King and Queen of the Redheads".

Emma Ni Chearuil and Alan O' Neill are the newly appointed "King and Queen of the Redheads". Photo  / AP
Emma Ni Chearuil and Alan O' Neill are the newly appointed "King and Queen of the Redheads". Photo / AP
The new king and queen of the redheads are paraded through the village. Photo / AP
The new king and queen of the redheads are paraded through the village. Photo / AP

And for the heavily freckled, there's also a prize for the most freckles per square inch.

Ginger-haired performers entertained attendees and Jacky Colliss Harvey, author of RED: A Natural History Of The Redhead presented a seminar on the most influential Irish redheads in history.

Willem Kuun from Canada waits for the judging to take place. Photo / AP
Willem Kuun from Canada waits for the judging to take place. Photo / AP

To date, the convention has raised just over $45,000 for the Irish Cancer Society.

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