The underground leprechaun and fairy cavern has its origins in a story that happened in 1989 when a Leprechaun suit with four gold coins in the pocket was found on Foy mountain above Carlingford in Co Louth. Beside it were some bones and an area of scorched earth. The man who found it, a local publican PJ O’Hare told a friend of his McCoilllte (Woods) what he had found. McCoillte was very sceptical about the existence of such beings and set out to prove that Leprechauns did not exist.
He held the first National Leprechaun Hunt on Foy mountain to see if any could be found. He hid five ceramic ones with 1000 pounds under each and sold leprechaun hunting licences for 10 pounds. Hunters found the money but no real leprechauns. P.J. died some years later. The suit and bones were put in a glass case in his pub but no one ever knew what had happened to the gold coins.
McCoillte (Woods) his friend was mending a stone wall some years later when he found a little leather purse hidden in it with four gold coins in the purse. He took them to the mountain where the suit was found and to his astonishment he saw three leprechauns. He was transfixed and could not communicate with them. They disappeared below a rock and he was able to move again. He returned home to tell his story but could find no believers. He returned to the mountain again the following day and this time he met one Leprechaun but this time he could communicate with him.
The leprechaun told him his name was Carraig and that he was the last of 236 leprechauns who lived in Ireland. There had been millions of them but they had died out because people stopped believing in them. They needed someone from human kind to protect them otherwise they would die out altogether. The time was now right to make their existence known.
Carraig told McCoillte their life story and what had happened to them. McCoillte published Carraigs story in a book "The Last Leprechauns of Ireland"
In 2009 McCoillte got them protected by the EU under a habitats directive. In 2009 he started the leprechaun hunts again for 100 ceramic leprechauns with €2000 underneath. This happens each year now on the day the clocks move forward for summer time. He does it to get more people to believe in Leprechauns as it is only belief that will keep them alive. McCoillte speaks to them regularly. He has built the underground cavern to connect with two old tunnels - one links with the fairy glen in Rostrevor, Co. Down and the other with Foy mountain and the home of Ireland's last remaining leprechauns. McCoillte starts your journey with this story. There is parking at "Shalom House" on Ghan Road opposite the Carlingford Sailing Club. You will find McCoillte the Leprechaun Whisperer there.