Beard Liberation Front
Press release 17th March
Contact Keith Flett 07803 167266
SDLP LEADER IS NAMED ST PATRICK’S DAY BEARD OF IRELAND
The Beard Liberation Front, the informal network of beard wearers, has said that SDLP leader Colum Eastwood has bearded the 2016 winner, broadcaster William Crawley, to take the 2017 Beard of Ireland title on St Patrick’s Day. High profile Belfast Newsletter journalist Sam McBride was third.
There was a record on-line poll of just under 10,000 votes and while the lead changed hands several times, the SDLP leader, who has a distinctive two tone beard, was a clear winner as the poll closed.
There has been considerable controversy over whether St Patrick himself did or did not have a beard. For centuries he was depicted as hirsute but there is a counter argument that the Irish clergy historically were clean shaven.
The BLF says that while Ireland in more recent times has been a land of predominantly clean shaven cultures, it has in the past decade become something of a centre for stylish and trendy beards.
Contenders for the title in 2017 included actors, comedians, political activists, journalists and rugby players.
The campaigners say the poll was specifically about the impact the beard of an individual has made in Irish public life and no other factor.
BLF Organiser Keith Flett said, we think Colum Eastwood and the other winners are reclaiming the genuine St Patrick’s tradition of beard wearing
Beard of Ireland
Gerry Adams, politician
Steve Agnew, politician
Gerry Carroll, politician
William Crawley, broadcaster
Stuart Dallas, footballer
Colum Eastwood, politician
Richie Foran, footballer manager
David Ford, politician
Sam McBride, journalist
Damian Mackel, wrestler
David Norris, politician
Sean O’Brien, rugby player