In a Word . . . Leprechaun

So 2008 Nobel laureate Paul Krugman is dismissive of "Leprechaun economics". So? That was his description of figures from the Central Statistics Office last month indicating that Ireland's growth rate for 2015 was 26.3 per cent.

Perhaps if Mr Krugman and all those other ever-confident economists were more respectful of leprechauns they might have been told 10 years ago of the banking crisis to come. They weren’t. These then are the people who scoff at leprechauns and their economics.

Many would suggest that leprechauns have a far more tenacious grip on things economic than the burgeoning population of so-called financial experts. For instance, do you know of anybody in all of human history who has yet succeeded in getting their hands on a leprechaun’s pot of gold?

Or who has ever even found a rainbow’s end?


Of course not. Nor are they likely too. That at least is certain, something that can never be said of any economist’s predictions no matter the prizes showered on them. It pays to be respectful where the “little people” are concerned.

Like that Kerry coach driver who would stop at a spot on a road in the middle of nowhere and when the tourists asked why, he’d tell them it was “. . . to let the leprechauns cross.”

Or the people of Carlingford, Co Louth. In 2009 they secured a European Habitats Directive, festooned with EU stars, for the protection there of "Plants, Wild animals, and Leprechauns (Little People)". A sign there advises people to "tread lightly", and they are warned "Hunters and Fortune Seekers will be Prosecuted". (Boris Johnston please note).

Yes, Ireland's last 236 leprechauns reside in the area, according to "Leprechaun whisperer" Kevin Woods.

In 1989, a leprechaun suit, bones, and gold coins were found in the area and he organised an unsuccessful leprechaun hunt. Then in 2002 he found gold coins which enabled him, finally, communicate with “Carraig”, an elder leprechaun.

It has been most fruitful relationship, now involving books, tours, a fairy village and a song. There’s real leprechaun economics!

The tours have been reviewed very enthusiastically on TripAdvisor. One of many five star contributors said: “The Leprechaun whisperer is an amazing story teller!” Indeed.

Leprechaun from the Irish word leipreachán, itself derived from Middle Irish lúchorpán meaning small, and corp meaning body (from Latin corpus, meaning body)