Author: Bob Curran
Every country has its own contingent of “little people” but when it comes to capturing the imagination the infamous Irish Leprechaun is the undisputed king. To some people the Leprechaun is an impish figure, full of harmless mischief and mirth whose existence is dictated by the search for and the protection of the mythical crock of gold, a little person who could have stepped fully formed from the scenes of a Disney film. To others, however, he is an evil gnome bent on disrupting the lives of mortal beings by black magic and malevolent acts. From its use as the symbol of the University of Notre Dame “Fighting Irish” football team in Chicago to the series of cult shlock films, Leprechaun 1 to 4, featuring an evil, marauding Leprechaun and Darby O’Gill and the Little People to Foster & Allen donning Leprechaun suits for their Top of the Pops appearance the leprechaun has pervaded the popular imagination for decades but before the mass media it was very real creature for generations of Irish people. Bob Curran looks at every aspect of this mythical creature which is so closely associated with Ireland in the minds of people all over the world. He looks at the origins of the myth and the equivalent around the world. He looks at the superstitions involving the Leprechaun and its use in the mass media. From the origins of this hero of Irish lore – fallen angel, diminished god or son of other fairies – to his habits, occupations and characteristics, The Truth about the Leprechaun offers enlightenment on little-known aspects of the wider fairy world, as well as turning the spotlight on the real Leprechaun – elusive, complex and contradictory.