The clurichaun (//) (from Irish: clobhair-ceann), is an Irish fairy which resembles the leprechaun. Some folklorists describe the clurichaun as a night "form" of the leprechaun, who goes out to drink after finishing his daily chores. Others regard them as regional variations on the same creature.
The folklorist Nicholas O'Kearney described the clurichaun in 1855 as follows:
|“||The Clobhair-ceann was another being of the same class: he was a jolly, red-faced, drunken little fellow, and was ever found in the cellars of the debauchee, Bacchus-like, astride of the wine butt with brimful tankard in hand, drinking and singing away merrily. Any wine-cellar known to be haunted by this sprite, was doomed to bring its owner to speedy ruin.||”|
Clurichauns are said to always be drunk. However, unlike their cousins, they are surly. Many fables conclude clurichauns enjoy riding sheep and dogs at night. If you treat them well they will protect your wine cellar, and if mistreated, they will wreak havoc on your home and spoil your wine stock. In some tales, they act as buttery spirits, plaguing drunkards or dishonest servants who steal wine; if the victim attempts to move away from their tormentor, the clurichaun will hop into a cask to accompany them.
- Yeats, W. B., ed. (1888). Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry. "The Cluricaun, (Clobhair-ceann, in O'Kearney) makes himself drunk in gentlemen's cellars. Some suppose he is merely the Lepracaun on a spree. He is almost unknown in Connaught and the north."
- W. B. Yeats, Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry, in A Treasury of Irish Myth, Legend, and Folklore, p 80, ISBN 0-517-48904-X.
- Katharine Briggs, An Encyclopedia of Fairies, Hobgoblins, Brownies, Bogies, and Other Supernatural Creatures, "Leprechauns", p264. ISBN 0-394-73467-X.
- O'Kearney, Nicholas, ed. (1855). Transactions of the Ossianic Society, for the year 1854. Vol. II. Feis Tithe Chonain.. Dublin: The Ossianic Society. p. 19.
- Katharine Briggs, An Encyclopedia of Fairies, Hobgoblins, Brownies, Bogies, and Other Supernatural Creatures, "Clurichaun", p77. ISBN 0-394-73467-X.
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