National Leprechaun Museum
|Established||10 March 2010|
|Location||Twilfit House, Jervis Street, Dublin 1, Ireland|
The National Leprechaun Museum is a museum dedicated to leprechauns which has operated between Jervis Street and Middle Abbey Street (on 1 Jervis Street) in Dublin, Ireland, since 10 March 2010. It claims to be the first leprechaun museum in the world. The Irish Times has referred to it as the "Louvre of leprechauns".
Tom O'Rahilly designed the museum (with the collaboration of two Italian designers Elena Micheli and Walter Scipioni) and is its director. O'Rahilly commenced working on his museum in 2003. He views it as a "story-telling" tourist attraction designed to give visitors "the leprechaun experience" rather than simply a "commercial venture".
Visitors to the museum follow a guided tour involving several different rooms; voiceovers are also used. The basics of leprechaun folklore are explained, including what it is that defines a leprechaun. A history of leprechaun references in popular culture is included, including Walt Disney's visit to Ireland which led to his 1959 film Darby O'Gill and the Little People. There is a tunnel full of optical illusions, a wooden replica of the Giant's Causeway in County Antrim, Northern Ireland and a room where items such as furniture become unusually large to give the effect that the visitor has become smaller in size. Another room is sheltered by umbrellas from falling rain, while the next room contains a rainbow, followed by a room with a crock of gold and a tree stump. The tale of one man's attempt to catch a leprechaun is also told. Other rooms refer to the Children of Lir, fairy forts, and Newgrange; one contains a well and gigantic tree trunks. References to other creatures are included in the tour and it is explained that "Fairies move in clouds of dust", with fairy dust included as well. At the end of the tour visitors arrive at a shop where they can purchase goods such as T-shirts and umbrellas.
- "World's First Museum Dedicated to Leprechauns Opens in Ireland". myFoxphoenix.com. 10 March 2010. Retrieved 10 March 2010.
- Rosita Boland (10 March 2010). "The Louvre of leprechauns". The Irish Times. Retrieved 10 March 2010.
- Donal Thornton (10 March 2010). "New National Leprechaun Museum opens its doors in Dublin". irishcentral.com. Retrieved 10 March 2010.
- Official website
- "Admission: one pot of gold, to be sure and begorrah". Sunday Tribune. 7 February 2010.
- "'We should grow up': folklorist defends museum of leprechauns". Sunday Tribune. 7 March 2010.
- "Ireland's New Museum for Leprechauns". TIME. 11 March 2010.