‘Clurichaun’ of Irish Folklore

The Irish Clurichaun
The Clurichaun or clúrachán is similar to a buttery spirit; a type of fairy akin to the leprechaun more of a nocturnal leprechaun that is a bit of a boozer. They love to hit the drink after their daily chores and shoe making are accomplished.
The Clurichaun is a wee bit smaller in stature then its’ cousin yet very feisty.
The fairy lore speaks of the Clurichaun as a crusty party animal that ties one on, hopping onto the back of a unweary dog or ewe and rides them like a cowboy breaking in a rodeo horse during the wee hours of the night.
A wild sight to see to say the least.

Folklore reveals, if you treat the Clurichaun with kindess and respect they are very loyal and will protect your wine cellar.

Never maltreat them, they will become cantankerous, they are creators of chaos and will lay waste to your home.
In other tales, the Clurichaun display their buttery spirit side by pestering, nasty drunks or harrassing hirelings that steal away the household wine. <br>
However, if the tormented victim seeks out relief from the ornery Clurichaun by relocating to another town; the determined Clurichaun will shadow the weary serf by catching a ride in their firkin!
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.”

In Irish folklore, the Clurichaun are cousins to the Leprechaun except they do not like to work hard like the Leprechaun. They enjoy their drink and love to guard the family wine cellar, however they may take a swig or two of your Irish Whiskey.

British folklorist Katharine Briggs described the Clurichaun as “a kind of buttery spirit, feasting himself in the cellars of drunkards or scaring dishonest servants who steal the wine.” The Clurichaun wears a Red Cap & at night he rides Sheep dogs for fun.

Clurichaun image on Pinterest

In the 1825 folktale “The Haunted Cellar”, by Thomas Crofton Croker, they’re described as “heavy drinking little fellows” with faces like “withered apples” and their noses are said to be plump and purple from all the boozing.

They are moody little creatures their moods can range from charming to angry in a New York minute.

They love to prank folks they sometimes go too far with it. They’ve short tempers and have little concern for the problems of others. Be careful not to anger them or one morning, you may end up drinking sour milk and discover your eggs all cracked open and your sheep take ill.

Clurichauns can be naughty they are known to actually over see and take care of the families they dwell with.

Source & Reference

Briggs, Katharine (1976). An Encyclopedia of Fairies. Pantheon Books. Page 77. ISBN 0394409183.

Frost, William Henry (1900). Fairies and Folk of Ireland. Charles Scribner’s Sons. p. 62.

Croker, Thomas Crofton (1844, 1825). Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland (Vol. 1). Lea and Blanchard. p. 79.

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