In Dublin? Want to feel what it’s like to walk through a rainbow in search of your pot of gold? Want something to keep you away from the pubs and out of devilment for the afternoon? Then look no further than Dublin’s National Leprechaun Museum. OK, so the rainbow is actually some multicolored fringe hanging from the ceiling and the pot of gold is panted stones in an IKEA pot, but as they say, what’s important is the journey, right?
Opened in 2010, the museum is much more a storytelling and folklore museum than a museum strictly about leprechauns. But still, many tales involve the diminutive green ones. In fact, the Irish Times has referred to it as the “Louvre of Leprechauns.” Upon arrival, you are greeted by a museum guide/storyteller who, in room after room, recounts stories and folklore from Ireland’s mythical past, passed down through the centuries via oral histories. My guide was quite enthusiastic, which was surprising given the fact that she probably tells the same stories several times a day. I was relieved to find out that a few times she said strange phrases and mythical place names in Gaelic, as I thought maybe I had had a stroke and no longer understood English.
Unfortunately, most all of these tales (mostly of love) end quite sadly, as one partner walks the earth or haunts something for eternity looking for their lost love. However, you are forewarned about this, so the easily heartbroken can head to the gift shop instead and try on funny green hats. Each story is accompanied by a scene change (room change) and these include a faerie room, a forest room with a well, and a wooden replica of the Giant’s Causeway in County Antrim. One of the most popular rooms in the museum is filled with giant furniture so humans can see what it is like to be the size of a leprechaun.
The National Leprechaun Museum is located on Jervis Street across the river from Temple Bar and is open daily from 10:00am to 6:30pm. If you are in Dublin you should definitely go, as when you tell your friends you have been there, they will be green with envy and will walk the earth haunting you until you buy them a ticket to the Emerald Isle.