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We're reddy to take on the bullies; MISS IRELAND AOIFE'S VOW.

Byline: EXCLUSIVE BY MARIE KIERANS

YOUNG girls bullied for having ginger hair are fighting back against tormentors - because of Miss Ireland Aoife Walsh.

The gorgeous redhead, 24, has been touched by the number of teens who have told her about the abuse they have suffered because of the colour of their hair.

Aoife was taunted herself as a child because of her locks.

She told the Irish Sunday Mirror: "I can't believe the number of young girls who've got in contact to say that thanks to me they are not going to be pressurised into changing the colour of their hair."

Aoife, the first redhead to win Miss Ireland, added: "I just think there is a stigma about red hair that it is ugly and unattractive. But it is not.

"It has become my signature, I just love my hair and would never dye it."

Still, she well understands why youngsters get upset.

She said: "You get name calling like ginger minger and it is hard to take, I had it myself."

The Assets' model is delighted to have raised the profile of redheads.

Aoife revealed that she has to pinch herself sometimes to make sure she's not dreaming and that she did win the title. She said: "I am loving every minute of it." The brainy beauty, who has three degrees, put her education before chasing her modelling dream but is thrilled she finally went for it.

"I am really happy that I decided to take a year out and really give it a go," she said.

"I am enjoying every minute of it. It is so different to anything that I've ever done before."

"Winning the title really was a dream come true."

With just six months left of her reign, the Clonmel native has to decide whether to stay in modelling or find work as a teacher.

She revealed. "I am hoping that maybe I can do both.

"For now I am just living in the moment and enjoying myself."

The sexy single revealed that during a recent holiday she left a part of herself in Cancun. And it wasn't her heart! "It was my toenail," she laughed. "I was walking on the beach and I stubbed my toe off a concrete slab and I lost half a toenail.

"You'd want to have heard me, I was roaring like a banshee."

But it didn't end there.

She said: "The lifeguard came over and said the other half of the nail would have to come off because there was a risk of infection. He produced a pair of pliers there and then and took off the rest of it.

"I couldn't believe it when I saw him with the pliers. Thank God it happened on the second last day because I was very fragile after that."

marie.kierans@trinitymirror.com

I just love my hair and I would never dye it, it's now my signature AOIFE WALSH on being teased as a redhead

CAPTION(S):

Decision: Aoife may return to teaching

Seeing red: Aoife's Miss Ireland win has given her a dream career as a model and as a defender of redheads
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Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUIR
Date:Jan 12, 2014
Words:524
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