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Leprechauns and fairies?

There is no such thing as leprechauns in Ireland, so apologies to any of you would be believers in magical crocks of gold at the bottom of a rainbow, they don't exist or at least I haven't found one yet!. The whole notion of leprechauns was much more of a Disney invention that came along with the likes of bad ‘oirish’ accents in films such as ‘Darby O’Gill and the Little People’. But Little People or Fairies? well they do exist, oh yes and here in Ireland we do not mess with the fairies, ever. They are known to live in very special places called fairy forts or fairy rings which are those raised circular mounds of earth, that you will see all over Ireland, we have some 40,000 in all....

Ballyalban Fairy Fort, Ballyvaughan, County Clare

You are very welcome to visit them, walk around them, make a wish by all means...But it is thought to be very bad luck to interfere with these mounds. I heard a story once of a digger driver who attempted to make an opening in one down in Cork and was dead by night fall, God Rest him and there are plenty of other stories like that. Certain trees are revered too, especially hawthorns which country people will never ever chop down or remove for fear of disturbing the fairies who often live underneath and who are likely to wreak havoc if disturbed ie, sour milk, cause crops to fail, animals to sicken and die....So don’t say ye haven’t been warned ! In fact down in Clare where I live a motorway was diverted to avoid an important fairy tree on the ancient boundaries of Munster and Connacht, and that is a true story. 

Disney styled leprechaun

No one knows more about fairies in Ireland then Eddie Lenihan a gifted story teller or seanchaí (in Irish) who also lives Clare, but has collected his stories from all over Ireland, this is one of his best....

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