TRALEE is now officially home to royalty after Connolly Park native Sarah Mullins was crowned international Queen of the Redheads at the annual Redhead Convention which took place in Cork last weekend.
UCC genetics student Sarah's flowing red locks were singled out by judges at the three day convention in Crosshaven which attracted over 1,000 redheads from Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales, the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Sarah, who had entered the Best Long Red Hair competition at the convention, was immediately spotted by the competition judges who had no hesitation in naming her as the 2103 Queen of the Redheads.
In front of a crowd of over 4,000 people she was crowned by outgoing Queen Mairin-Rua Hayes and took her place on the throne beside the Redhead's new king Corkman Jack Daly.
As Queen of The Redheads Sarah's royal duties will include promoting the convention and the cause of redheads worldwide as well as promoting the convention's charity partner the Irish Cancer Society.
"I'd wanted to go last year and never got the chance. I finally made it down this year and it was absolutely brilliant. I don't really know what the year holds in store, it's all a bit new to me, but I'll be doing some work to promote the convention and the cancer society. Whatever happens I'm sure I'll enjoy it," said Sarah.
Not surprisingly, as a genetics student, Sarah also has a keen interest in the science of redheads and a considerable part of her study has revolved around research into the red haired gene.
A new study of the 'ginger gene' launched ahead of the convention has shown that, contrary to popular belief, there are more people with redhead DNA in Scotland and Wales than Ireland.
The survey by ScotlandDNA found that the most redheaded part of Ireland and Britain is the south-east of Scotland, while Edinburgh is home to 40per cent of the people who carry one of three common red hair genes. Scotland has a rate of red-headed DNA of 36.5per cent while Ireland has 34.7per cent.
And what doe's the newly crowned queen reckon of the word "Ginger" a divisive term that splits redheads the world over.
"It's one of those things that really divides people. Some hate it, some don't mind it. I'm ok with 'ginger' but my mother absolutely despises it," she said.