Organisers of the madcap Irish Red Head Convention in Crosshaven, Co Cork, were hoping that Enda Kenny would accept their invitation to show off his ginger locks in the sailing village’s whacky festival this Saturday.
But despite the tempting line-up of ginger-themed events and games, including carrot tossing, freckle counting, and red-head styling advice, Mr Kenny said he cannot attend.
A spokesperson for the Taoiseach’s office thanked organisers for the invitation but added: “The Taoiseach has asked me to say that, due to a prior commitment, he regrets that he is not in a position to accept your kind invitation.”
Flowing flame-haired organiser, Joleen Cronin, said: “It’s disappointing that the Taoiseach can’t join us on this national day of hair-itage — he’s going to miss a great party.”
Other high-profile ginger-tops who can’t make it include 2fm DJ Hector Ó hEochagáin and Blaithnid Ní Chofaigh.
Joleen and her team of ginger volunteers, including her curly-red haired brother, Denis, who runs Cronin’s Pub, are now finalising plans to paint the town red on Saturday.
The first Red Head Convention took place last year to celebrate all that is good about red-heads. Hundreds attended raising some €3,500 for the Irish Cancer Society.
It spurred the Cronins on to mount a bigger festival this year providing a feast of festivities for all foxy folk, including:
* a farmers market;
* a strawberry cupcake competition;
* red balloon launch;
* red-head photo shoots;
* hair-styling advice for the red-haired.
Real red-head festival goers will receive an Official Red Head Certificate of Genuine Foxiness, one of baker Mags Curtin’s 500 gingerbread men, a can of Cork favourite, red lemonade, and there will be free entry to Ford Camden for registered red-heads. Red wigs will be provided to those unlucky enough not to be blessed with real red hair.
And to ensure that there is a new generation of red-heads, organisers have arranged a red-head fast n’ foxy dinner dating event.
Sunburnt Irish Red, brewed by 8 Degrees, is the festival’s official beer.
Ireland has one of the highest percentage of red-heads in the world — coming in at 10% — a close second behind Scotland which has 13%.
According to some genetic scientists redheads are becoming rarer and could become extinct in 100 years.
All proceeds from the event will go towards helping the Irish Cancer Society.
* Full festival details on www.redheadconvention.ie or on Facebook.