Ireland Wants Cooler Leprechauns

Dublin museum hopes to restore their 'respectability'
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 13, 2010 11:31 AM CST
Ireland Wants Cooler Leprechauns
Ireland wants to save the image of leprechauns.   (Shutter Stock)

A new museum in Dublin hopes to salvage the image of Ireland's beloved leprechaun. These sprites used to be cool. They were wily, not-so-nice shoemakers who duped suckers into thinking they hit it rich. Now they're kitschy, "top-o-the-morning" creatures of the Lucky Charms variety. "It is a derogatory symbol from an Irish perspective," an official from Ireland's tourism bureau tells Time.

The founder of the National Leprechaun Museum—yes, it has a genuine pot of gold—thinks he can restore some "respectability" to leprechauns. One expert with the University of Galway notes that the museum was conceived and funded during the booming Celtic Tiger days. Now that the economy has collapsed and the riches gone, "the Irish are concerned that we're once again living up to the stereotype of the leprechaun."
(More Ireland stories.)

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