Leprechaun the Mischievous Irish Fairy

by WriterArtist

Ireland has many interesting legends and folklores, among which are the famous legends of leprechauns the Irish fairies who can be sometimes naughty and other times wicked.

According to the Irish fables the leprechaun is an Irish male fairy. He appears like a little, out of place guy who is about two feet tall frequently dressed in a shoemaker outfit. He can be an old man with old ways and a crooked hat dressed in a leather apron rather shabbily.

In accordance to the Irish fairy tales, the cute and funny leprechauns are distant and detached, residing on their own passing their time making and repairing footwear. But the legend of Ireland also states that the leprechauns can be very helpful in spite of being shy. They have hidden treasures which they give to generous and benevolent people. Many of them have a concealed pot of gold which they are guarding and try their best to hide them from pillagers, bandits and thieves.

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Lenox Set of 12 Ornaments for Ornament Tree (Tree Not Included) St. Patrick's Day

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What are the common names for leprechauns?


A leprechaun is also known as Elf, Halfling, Dryad, in many other local languages of Europe.


The leprechauns can be interesting subjects to Irish artists. A famous Leprechaun Shamus sculpture is situated at Linwood South Park. Shamus the Leprechaun stands keeping a pipe in his left hand, sporting a brown cap, green vest and footwear. The artistic sculpture is carved from a tree trunk.

What are the characteristics of Leprechauns?


Leprechauns are considered to be shrewd craftsmen who at times can be generous to the right kind of people. They are in a habit of wearing and tearing so many shoes that it is no wonder their worldly trait is greatest recognized amongst the folks as shoemakers. It is also known that the fairies put on a lot of pairs of footwear for their favourite pastime which is of course the dancing rites. Other than shoes, they also make other kind of items such as garments, weapons, wine casks, and wizardry products which they can easily tradeoff for food and treasure.

Leprechaun Tree Wrap
Evergreen Flag & Garden

Were you lucky to catch any leprechaun?

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DerdriuMarriner on 03/16/2022

I may have seen one, but I blinked and broke the stare. So off he went!

Veronica on 08/18/2015

For fun or boredom, not sure which, I do occasionally log on to Irish Eye leprechaun watch to catch sight of one but of course, I never have.

Veronica on 08/17/2015

There is a website leprechaun watch website which is great fun to watch

How do you catch a Leprechaun?


To find a leprechaun is not easy. Most of the treasure hunters can frequently track down a leprechaun through the sound of his shoemaker’s hammer.

If you get lucky try the following –

You have to keep the vigil on the prankster leprechauns each and every second. If caught, he could be pressurized to reveal the hidden location of his treasure, However the captor should maintain his eye contact with him all the time, for naughty  leprechauns are always on their toes and can disappear any moment. In the event the captor’s eyes depart the leprechaun’s eye, which he frequently tricks them into straying away, he vanishes and all hopes of discovering the treasure are gone. The leprechaun may physically assault and there is the risk of struggle and you risk them losing them once and for all. 

However; if you manage not to be tricked by the leprechaun you can become the owner of the lucky treasure that a leprechaun possesses. You have great chances of encountering them on Saint Patrick’s Day.

Tales of Leprechauns

That's What Leprechauns Do

What do leprechauns do? They bury a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, of course. But as Mrs. Bally Bunion’s ox, Miss Maude Murphy’s hen, and Old Jamie soon find out, they c...

HMH Books for Young Readers
$7.99  $4.05

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The Leprechaun's Gold

In this classic Irish legend, two harpists -- merry-hearted Old Pat and ill-spirited Young Tom -- set off for a contest to name the finest harpist in all of Ireland. When Young ...

Katherine Tegen Books
$7.99  $5.95

View on Amazon

The Story of the Leprechaun

In a faraway village lives a talented little shoemaker—who also happens to be a leprechaun. He keeps the gold that he earns from making shoes hidden away in his home, where he t...

$12.99  $1.91

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Updated: 02/21/2015, WriterArtist
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Do you like this mischievous fairy from Ireland?

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frankbeswick on 03/16/2022

Irish folklore is wary of the Sidhe, [fairy folk] for they were traditionally ill-tempered and not always friendly to humans. The Irish traditionally do not disturb the Sidhe's fairy mounds or the hawthorn trees under which the fairy folk live.

But clurichauns are friendly fairies that guard your wine cellar. But tradition has it that they are partial to a tipple!

Sidhe is pronounced shee.

DerdriuMarriner on 03/16/2022

WriterArtist, Thank you for product lines, pretty pictures and practical information.
In particular, I'm drawn to the ornament tree, the top hat and the tree wrap.

It must require a steady gaze to catch a leprechaun. Wouldn't it be important not to blink?

frankbeswick on 08/23/2015

Yes, Pucai are known in Irish folklore. There is the tune, Port na Bpucai [port na bookie.] A port is a term for a harp tune, though this was originally played on the fiddle. The story goes that a shepherd staying for the summer grazing on Inish Vickilane, an island in the Blaskett Isles off Kerry in South West Ireland, heard ethereal music, during the evening, which he took to be fairy music, and he copied it on his fiddle. It is a strange sound. Biologists have identified a possible source as whales calling each other, but he was convinced that he was hearing fairy music. It is a strange, non-human sound, but very beautiful.

Veronica on 08/23/2015

Don't forget the Puca ( Pwca , Bucca Pooka ) . The Puca is a very mischievous shape changing spirit. IT seems to cross various Western European lands and brings good or bad luck .

The term also influences Shakespeare's ' midsummer night's dream' using Puck as the mischievous fairy/ imp.

frankbeswick on 08/23/2015

The Western Irish used to believe that the fairies abducted baby boys, so many parents used to dress young baby boys as girls to confuse the fairy abductors. There was also the belief that if you thought the Sidhe were after you, you turned your coat inside out to confuse them.

Yet the Sidhe love music. There is a folk tale that a man was in trouble for offending them, but fortuitously there arrived Turlough O'Carolan, the last of the great harpists of Ireland, who took out his clarsach, the bronze strung Gaelic harp, and began to weave enchanting music. Slowly the Sidhe began to appear and were completely charmed by the power of his melodies. When he had finished they asked him what reward he wanted and he replied that they should spare the man who had offended them. They agreed.

O'Carolan [1670-1738] was a magnificent harpist. One of his most beautiful compositions is Carolan's farewell to music, which he spontaneously composed as he was on his death bed. Having listened to this I can see why people believed that he could enchant even the fairies.

Veronica on 08/18/2015

I spent last summer in Galway and they call the fairies Shee-ogs.

The fairy forts are certainly interesting.

Mira on 08/18/2015

Interesting article and comments!:) Fascinating what Frank says about fairy forts.

frankbeswick on 08/18/2015

I misspelled the term, which should be Sidhe. The Galway pronunciation, Shee-og, is different from the pronunciation elsewhere, though the Irish and Scots do speak of some places as Sheeogy, places with the Sidhe atmosphere on them. I suspect that the Galway pronunciation derives from this usage , though og, which means young, can be used as a term of endearment. Sheeogy places are not confined to Gaelic realms, as they are what the English call fey.

I did not say earlier that banshee means fairy woman, for the banshee is always female.

Veronica on 08/17/2015

If you are of Galway stock you call fairies Sidheag (pronounced she-og )

frankbeswick on 08/17/2015

My wife's uncle in county Mayo has two fairy forts on his farm. He has never disturbed them, for the Irish were traditionally wary of disrupting the activities of the Side, for the fairies were not considered to be always benevolent beings, and those who interfered with them were thought to suffer bad luck. People avoided the fairy forts at night, when the Sidhe were considered to be at their most active.

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