Gary Gannon has said he “takes pride” in his ginger hair after he was heckled about it while at work this week.
The Social Democrats TD for Dublin Central was making his way to speak to journalists on the plinth when a child on a visit to Leinster House shouted over to him, ‘Ginger’.
Deputy Gannon laughed off the incident and said it is something he had got used to over the years.
“I love being ginger,” he told Moncrieff.
“But I didn’t love being a ginger until I became more of an adult.”
Today I was viciously attacked outside the Dáil by a primary school student pic.twitter.com/JHW3QgIhWI
— Gary Gannon TD (@GaryGannonTD) February 28, 2023
Despite Ireland’s large ginger population, people with red hair are often bullied for it and growing up Gary was sometimes teased that his hair was on fire.
“It is a kind of Irish thing isn’t it? I don’t think for a second anybody is cruel,” he said.
“That kid yesterday, he said he didn’t say it with any cruelty, he said it pure in jest.
“I just loved the audacity of him.”
As a teenager though, Gary was keen to see if he suited a different colour.
“I did dye the hair - twice,” he said.
“I dyed my hair bleach blond twice which I thought was a good idea and that I’d look like a kind of Zac Morris type character.
“Now, I did not look like a Zac Morris type character with my blood pressure. So, I just had blond hair and a red face.
“I think we all go through those transitions as a ginger before we find our space.”
Now, the Dublin Central TD says he embraces his appearance.
“I’m the only ginger in my family,” he said.
“Politicians will often go, ‘I’m the first in my family to go to college.’
“I go, ‘I’m the only ginger in my family.’”
Only 1-2% of the world’s population has red hair.
Main image: Gary Gannon. Picture by: Alamy.com