Do Leprechauns Exist Or Not?

A few years ago, we went on a visit to Donegal, in the Republic of Ireland. It's a really nice place.

We went for some long walks in the countryside. The landscape and country is so quiet and slow somehow; it's very green of course, and there's a timeless quality about it like it hasn't changed much since the Middle Ages or even the Stone Age.

Of course the roads are paved and everything, but even so, you seem to get a sense that in Donegal, in some way, there's a very thin veil between our world and a world of magic and legend. You almost feel that you could just step through. If a leprechaun jumped out from the hedge and started talking to you, you wouldn't be particularly surprised. When you're there, it's easy to believe they might exist.

Then when you get back to the noise and bustle of London, somehow it's harder to believe in them.

The point I'm making is that, if certain places make you feel like you believe in magic and other places don't, could it be that the decline in belief in such things could be caused simply by the fact that most people nowadays live in cities? That would make everyone less inclined to think they were true.

So the question is: Do leprechauns exist - or not?


Maddie said...

What an interesting post, nobody ever really considers the leprechauns, poor chaps. I agree, Ireland is stunning, Giant's Causeway and Derry are both amazingly beautiful. Unfortunately I don't believe in Leprechauns, but I do agree that there are some places in which you can really get a sense of awe and magic about it.

The cities concept is quite an interesting one, but do you think that there are more people in the countryside who do believe?.

Sofia said...

Yeah I do, only I haven't got any proof LOL but I read in a history book that the old pagan beliefs in magic and witchcraft continued in rural districts almost into modern times. Even the word "pagan" literally means "country-dweller".

I have this theory that it all comes down to the concept of time. In cities it's done by the clock, but in the countryside it's the sunrise, sunset, solstice, harvest, equinox...

Jason The Bald Guy said...

I believe that the cramped and hurried lifestyles definitely contribute to our overall cynicism.
we assume based on collective reasoning that since the majority of the paranormal has been explained away by "science" that the paranormal does not exist, therefore it should be disregarded

when we step away from the insanity... and stop making assumptions based on the collective assumptionss of the past 2000 years we can begin to start from scratch and begin to believe.

Sofia said...

As an update to this post, I'd like to comment on an interesting aspect of it. The post is actually a copy of a discussion starter posted by me on the BlogCatalog forum, and it was the only one of my thread questions that received no replies at all!

The reason I put it there was as an experiment. Some days earlier, I had posted a similar question, "Does God exist?" which received a massive 378 replies, many of them long enough to count as articles in their own right. For me it was very tempting to take one side or the other, but I managed to stay neutral, even though many people tried to get me to take an opinion. There was an intense, vigorous, and fascinating debate on the question. At one point, a contributor said it was like the question, do leprechauns exist, or fairies. In other words, he considered it to be a pointless question, of no use to anyone. But my experiment shows this to be untrue, since the leprechaun question was completely ignored (on BC at least!) while the God question was extremely popular.

What does this tell us?

It tells us that, despite what the media tell us about declining interest in such matters, the question of deity is still an important and very live issue in our society.

The sequel to that discussion was quite exciting too. The host of the BC forum decided that people were getting too heated with each other, and that this might deter new users from joining the forum, so he deleted the entire thread! This, of course, provoked a protest which led to ANOTHER discussion about freedom of speech etc, that went to 100 replies!

I can understand the reason why the host did this, but I think he made the wrong decision. I think a sharp and intense debate about issue that people care about is attractive, and can co-exist with more fluffy debates about how often you should take your cat to the hairdresser.

It was quite sad in a way to see that one BC member announced he would leave BC completely over this issue. You see what I mean when I say that people really do have strong feelings and opinions about the deity question?

It's a pity though, that the leprechaun issue was not debated at all, as it's part of a much wider question about the existence or otherwise of other worlds or dimension-frames alongside or parallel with the one we know. Also the idea that other worlds can possibly be reached and experienced, and that there can be traffic between them. This is actually a much more interesting topic than, say, the exploration of planets or possible civilisations on the other side of the galaxy, whose reachability is seriously impossible, at least under our current knowledge of physical laws.

PetePassword said...

Don't you believe it! In England, the country folk are more interested in Neighbours than worshipping wicker gods LOL. What gives some the impression that pagan beliefs are still rife in rural areas, is that lots of first hippies in the sixties and seventies, and since then other green refugees from the cities have moved to the countryside and they are at the heart of most of the 'traditional' goings on such as wassailing, mummers, Morris men dressing fruit trees etc. having read up all the old myths and legends and wanting to live the genuinely rural life. The locals mostly look on with bemusement, although a few old boys with crooks, looking way past 150 with shaky, bendy legs do sometimes join in the merriment after a few ciders.
As for Ireland and Leprechauns, a) would you have felt the same if you had just woken in the countryside, rather than knowing you were going to Ireland, so lots of expectations. And b) how much Guinness had you drunk. They say Leprechauns often make themselves visible to Guinness drinkers...

Sofia said...

To petepassword:

If you read carefully you will see that I didn't say the belief in magic exists in the countryside NOW, but that the pagan rituals hung on ALMOST into modern times.

As for your questions about Ireland, question a) "would you have" is such an unreal type of conditional question as to be almost impossible to answer, and question b) I had no Guiness because by law I wasn't allowed to drink it.

You appear to be singularly lacking in imagination. The only way you would ever even notice a leprechaun (if they exist) is if one came up to you and slapped you across the face with a wet octopus. But why would they do that, why would they even care?

PetePassword said...

'I have this theory that it all comes down to the concept of time. In cities it's done by the clock, but in the countryside it's the sunrise, sunset, solstice, harvest, equinox...'
You seem to have taken my light hearted post way too seriously. My point was really that people in the countryside are very much stuck in the same culture of the cities, namely TV. They mostly haven't a clue about solstice, and harvest is what huge machines do in the fields around. Kids may go to harvest festivals, but they take veg bought by mum in Tescos.
If your question 'Do Leprechauns exist or not' was actually not tongue-in-cheek but deadly serious, then I apologise for taking it the wrong way.

Sofia said...


Sofia said...

To petepassword: (again!) of course my original post was not meant to be "deadly serious", I was merely reacting negatively to your implied criticism and what seemed to be a patronising assumption that I was not aware of how things are in country districts. I am not living in a dream world, I know that 21st century habits are the same in town and country. And I agree with you that country dwellers now are steeped in city culture. Yes they sit and watch East Enders and shop at Tescos. I'm not saying this is a good or bad thing, it just is.

My original point (which you still seem to be missing) was not about SOCIETY in rural areas, but about LANDSCAPE. The landscape of Ireland can evoke magical notions. A person can feel more convinced of the existence of other worlds there, but less so in places like London.

I hope this makes things a bit clearer. x

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Sofia said...

Oh no aaargh I seem to have gained a spam comment on my blog!

What shall I do?