Bandon 1,263 -- Glenties 1,024: Cork town beats Donegal rival in record for most leprechauns
THERE may not have been a crock of gold at the end of the rainbow, but one Irish town proved it is a world beater for leprechauns.
Bandon in west Cork fought off a challenge from Glenties in Donegal to capture the Guinness World Record for the most leprechauns in one place.
A total of 1,263 wee people gathered on Bandon's Main Street to set the new record -- complete with red beards, green top hats, breaches, brogues and shillelaghs.
One enterprising leprechaun even arrived with a plastic 'crock' complete with chocolate coins.
"It is fantastic to get the record. We knew we had a lot of competition, but west Cork people are really great to respond to a challenge," organiser Ger Fitzgerald said.
The old record of 414 leprechauns -- which was set last year by a South African school with an Irish principal -- was shattered one hour before the main event when Bandon realised they had close to 1,000 leprechauns on hand.
But there were more than a few anxious glances northwards amid the knowledge that Glenties was also having at tilt at the record.
There was only slight disappointment in Glenties that Bandon had beaten them in the bid for a world record. They managed a respectable 1,024 leprechauns.
Other challenges from Dublin and South Africa couldn't compete.
One of the driving forces behind the Donegal record attempt, Carmel Doherty, said she was delighted by how well the day had gone.
"It really was just incredible. The sight of more than 1,000 people dressed as leprechauns on the main street was just breathtaking," she said.
"We might have another crack at it next year, but for now congratulations to Bandon," she said.
But in Bandon it was like a modern version of 'Darby O'Gill and the Little People'.
"We drove all the way to Bandon from Douglas (in Cork city) because the children heard about the record attempt and were determined to take part," mother-of-three Mary Murphy said.
"It was great fun and we had an absolute ball," she added.
Organisers of the Bandon event said they will now submit a certified attendance document to the Guinness Book of Records to have their record made official.
Last November, RTE presenter Derek Mooney led a bid to set a record for the most leprechauns in one building and succeeded in assembling 262 in the Grand Canal Theatre.