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    Symbols/Myths/Legends
    Leprechaun

    A Leprechaun in Irish folklore was, a little sprite, or goblin.

    The name leprechaun may have derived from the Irish leath brogan or shoemaker, although its origins may lie in luacharma'n Irish for pygmy.

    These apparently aged, diminutive men are frequently to be found in an intoxicated state, caused by home-brew poteen. However they never become so drunk that the hand which holds the hammer becomes unsteady and their shoemaker's work affected.

    Leprechauns have also become self-appointed guardians of ancient treasure, burying it in crocks or pots.

    If caught by a mortal, he will promise great wealth if allowed to go free. He carries two leather pouches. In one there is a silver shilling, a magical coin that returns to the purse each time it is paid out. In the other he carries a gold coin which he uses to try and bribe his way out of difficult situations. This coin usually turns to leaves or ashes once the leprechaun has parted with it.

    The leprechaun 'family' appears split into two distinct groups - leprechaun and cluricaun. Although the leprechaun has been described as Ireland's national fairy, this name was originally only used in the north Leinster area. Variants include lurachmain, lurican, lurgadhan.

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