BBC man beats Adams to Irish beard of the year title

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A Radio Ulster presenter has stripped Gerry Adams of one of his titles – the holder of the Irish Beard of the Year.

Talkback host William Crawley took the accolade after an online poll organised by the Beard Liberation Front (BLF), which styles itself as an ‘informal network of beard wearers’ campaigning in favour of facial hair and against ‘beardism’ in society.

William Crawley pictured with Rabbi David Singer

William Crawley pictured with Rabbi David Singer

The former Sunday Sequence presenter had been narrowly trailing the famously hirsute politician over the last fortnight of voting.

But the organiser of the poll said that in the last couple of days the public had rallied behind Mr Crawley’s facial hair, leaving him to comfortably take the title with 50 per cent of the vote to 33 per cent for Mr Adams.

An assortment of other individuals – including football manager Roy Keane, Northern Ireland Green Party leader Steven Agnew and Ireland Rugby international Sean O’Brien – trailed far behind the broadcaster and politician.

BLF organiser Keith Flett said that “the decisive outcome of the poll is clear recognition that the beard is adding to the already considerable gravitas of [Mr Crawley’s] broadcasting presence”.

William Crawley in his days of being clean shaven

William Crawley in his days of being clean shaven

The BLF says that “while traditionally a land of predominantly clean shaven cultures, Ireland has in recent times become something of a centre for stylish and trendy beards”.

Mr Flett said that the poll was “specifically about the impact the beard of an individual has made in Irish public life and no other factor”.

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams had held the top beard in Ireland title

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams had held the top beard in Ireland title