Disclaimer: this is a collaborative post
Located in Twilfit House in Dublin is one of the most unique collections on display—the National Leprechaun Museum. This one of a kind exhibit showcases Ireland’s most told and passed down myths related to the mythical leprechaun.
Leprechauns are fairies that were believed to have existed in Ireland many years ago. The story goes that they were originally shoemakers who stored their gold coins in a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. That’s why it’s a common legend across the world that there’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. It’s also said that catching a leprechaun grants you three wishes.
Museum director Tom O’Rahilly’s ethos is to show visitors his passion for storytelling, particularly Irish folklores. While the museum highlights other stories inside, most of the enormous space is dedicated to the little Irish fairies.
The Little Irish Journey
Accompanied by a designated guide, visitors entering the Louvre of leprechauns will go through a series of rooms that documents the history and the folklore around the fairy. There are 12 rooms in the museum but what sets it apart is the Giant’s Causeway room. To get in, you’ll have to go through a tunnel as though you’re shrinking. Inside, you’ll see life-sized furniture, rainbow colours, and story walls about the origins of the small green creature. The museum has many interesting facts about the leprechaun, and how it has featured in both Irish folklore and popular culture across the globe. The museum even has adult only guided tours every Friday and Saturday night that showcase a darker side of Ireland. Perfect for better understanding not only the myths and legends of Ireland, but also the country’s overall history.
The Iconic Leprechaun
The green trickster and his pot of gold has been an Irish icon for centuries. From mascots to company logos they are everywhere in Ireland, with Lottoland prominently displaying the iconic pot of gold in its overview of the national Irish lottery. However, the most famous leprechaun is probably Lucky, the mascot of the Lucky Charms cereal who first appeared in a 1963 commercial. In fact, they’re so interweaved with Irish culture that there is a law that actually protects them.
The Sliabh Foy Loop Trail in Carlingford was officially designated a leprechaun sanctuary by the European Union. According to the local authorities, there are still 236 leprechauns that inhabit this beautiful trail. Legend has it that they live at the Slate Rock below Foy Mountain which is part of the Cooley Mountains in Co Louth.
While a recent discovery reported by the BBC reveals that the word leprechaun itself isn’t originally Irish, it’s undeniably a national icon worthy of its own museum. So if you’re looking for unusual and unique places in Dublin, be sure to visit the National Leprechaun Museum. The museum’s director has recently announced that they will be transferring to St. Mary Abbey in Dublin. So this could be your last chance to see the original museum.