Greenwich Hibernian Association
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The legends of Irish fairies probably arose from popular folk tales of the Middle Ages. All over Europe during this time, people were very superstitious and believed in the supernatural. They thought that fairies, elves, goblins, pixies and trolls all had magical powers – some helpful, some mischievous. Leprechauns are reported to be little Irishmen who make shoes for the fairies of Ireland. In keeping with their work, these 2-foot old men are usually seen wearing leather aprons. They are said to be rich and very cranky. Each leprechaun is believed to possess a hidden pot of gold. Leprechauns live alone and far away from people. By following the sounds of their shoemakers' hammers, people would try to catch leprechauns. According to legend, these dwarfs, when captured, try to buy their freedom by revealing the hiding places for their gold but they always try to escape without paying. Everyone in Ireland knows not to believe what leprechauns say.
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