Leprechaun in Court

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fairy court

Editor’s Note: This is not a leprechaun tale in the normal sense but it offers a window into leprechaun belief at the uneasy point of contact between traditional Ireland and the dominant Anglo-Irish class: the courtroom. 

The following dialogue is said to have taken place in an Irish court of justice, upon the witness having used the word Leprochaune (Crofton Croker, Fairy):

Court: Pray what is a leprochaune’? the law knows no such character or designation.

Witness: My lord, it is a little counsellor man in the fairies, or an attorney that robs them all, and he always carries a purse that is full of money, and if you see him and keep your eyes on him, and that you never turn them aside, he cannot get away, and if you catch him he gives you the purse to let him go, and then you’re as rich as a Jew,

Court: Did you ever know of any one that caught a Leprochaune? I wish I could catch one.

Witness: Yes, my lord, there was one…

Court: That will do!

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