The Case of the Liverpool Leprechauns. Nigel Watson

This article and the accompanying readers’ comments has been move to the new Magonia Magazine archive website here:

7 thoughts on “The Case of the Liverpool Leprechauns. Nigel Watson

  1. Outstanding post…thank you!
    This case was new for me…always nice to discover “new” old stories of the “little people”…

    ..“the motive forces of fantasies are
    unsatisfied wishes, and every single
    fantasy is the fulfillment of a wish, a
    correction of unsatisfying reality.”

    Mr. Freud needs a good paddling in my humble opinion.
    In my experience, fantasies and imaginings, the first-cousins
    of day-dreams, are what creative energies cling to, like ethereal
    chicken wire, in the process of becoming REAL.

    Ask that Mr. Einstein…he had a thing or two to say about it. :}

    Your post has been Twitter-shared with UFO enthusiasts worldwide at
    h t t p : / / twitter . com / I Q X S
    Come follow for the latest in UFO News and Views at the speed of Twit.

  2. I remember the story well as I have a scar as a constant reminder of the event. We, the kids from St Marie’s, Kirkby, went en masse into the church and as we hunted the little people. Some bright spark shouted that they were coming out after us. Panic ensued and as we all fled quicker than we entered a boy who is sadly no longer with us swung the church gate in his haste to escape, and I was hit on the forehead by the metal cross on it. The lad, Danny Callahan didnt even know he had injured me as he was well up the street and along Elric Walk where I lived. I had to have my head stitched by Dr Cole. As far as I know I am the only person injured by the little visitors. Unless you know different.

  3. Eddie McArdle’s comment that “we hunted the little people” is a particularly interesting one, because the Liverpool leprechaun case clearly fits into the category of what folklorists have termed ‘children’s hunts’ – spontaneous, mob-handed searches for supposed paranormal entities such as ghosts or vampires. Magonia readers will not be surprised to know that the object of the hunts varies with time and fashion – in the 1930s, in Glasgow, there were several that involved searches for Spring-heeled Jack. The fact that Liverpool has and had a large population of Irish descent was most likely a factor in determining the object of the hunt in this case.

    For more on the subject of children’s hunts, I highly recommend an important paper by Sandy Hobbs and David Cornwall, ‘Hunting the monster with iron teeth’, in Bennett and Smith, Monsters With Iron Teeth: Perspectives on Contemporary Legend vol.3 (Sheffield Academic Press, 1988) pp.115-137.

  4. Subject :- Constable Jim Nolan
    Liverpool Park Police -disbanded 1972

    I had the pleasure of being a police officer with Jim Nolan. In 1968 at 19 years of aged I joined the Liverpool Parks Police and was sworn as a Constable.The Liverpool Parks Police was disbanded in 1972 under national police reforms.

    In 1969 I worked with Jim till his death. Jim had been a WW2 war hero, was as strong as an ox, coupled with a buckets of Liverpool humour – he was not Irish as described.>

    His patrol duty was in full police uniform and helmet – as I did. At the time of the incident he was one of some 50 City and Parks Police Officers who patrolled the city on blue coloured Vespa scooters with a fixed radio mounted on it – in those days it was state of the art in police communicaions.

    In 1964 I was like most Liverpool kids visited places such as to the Cavern and followed the Beatle music.

    Unusual news came one evening via the media of Granada TV – which lead me and some dozan of my mates from Sparrow Hall to head to Kennsington Park on our bikes. We left Sparrow Hall to see “The Irish Little People ” that the “Granada TV ” presenters had spoken about (Bill Grundy or was it Brian Trueman who broke the news.

    So off we to find them – I had a dog and two rabbits, catch one
    of those “Little People” would be no problem and I could keep in the Rabbit Hutch.

    I hold a picture of Constable Jim Nolan on parade with other members of the Liverpool Parks Police – complete with helmet.

    Nolan told me it was a bit of fun and he had made the story up- the kids did the rest

    His antics came to the notice of Police Superintendant John Buchanan LLB, who was head Constable of the “Liverpool Parks Police” – Constable Nolan was warned off and to keep his mouth shut. The exercise had resulted in many officers having to work overtime – and has Nolan said “The Money Came in Handy with Chistmas Coming up.”

    “Rest in Peace Constable Jim Nolan and all those men who served in the Liverpool Parks Police from 1850 to 1972″

    Best wishes

    John Hutchinson

  5. As a child, living in Fairfield, I remember the “sightings” in the park in Kensington. I remember what seemed like thousands of kids congregating at the park and eventually getting chased off by the police. I was six at the time so the exact details are not totally clear in my memory banks but I do recall going to the park with my brother and sister along with the rest of the kids in the area. Everyone was excited about the prospect of seeing a leprachaun.

    Many years later, about 1983, I recall reading a story in a magazine, (“Revellie” or something similar) which indicated that the story started when some “circus folk” of the short variety were lodging in a house close by the park at the time. Some school children spotted them in the garden, and yes this garden was overgrown with tall overgrown grass and weeds, which gave the impression they were even shorter. So the story spread that the “little folk” were living in the park.

    Not sure of the “facts” from this story but this seems like another feasible explanation to add to the growing list.

  6. I was one of the school children that saw those leprichauns I attended brae street school and we all saw them popping in and out of a window overlooking the school yard , there were about 4 of them all tiny dressed like a school book idea of a typical gnome and they sat swinging their legs on the window ledge getting in and out. What they were I don’t know I only know what they looked like. I’d love to know the truth!!!

  7. Re: eddie Mcardle leprichauns.

    I laughed out loud when I found this site, for years I thought i imagined it all! I remember the seige of St Marys church when the police and Father Rose (or Father Spain) appealed for calm. I was one of the huge crowd of children shouting out “there they are”

    Someone said they had crossed the road into St Marys infants school and were now hiding in the lockers (small cube-like cupboards then) I never slept for days, and have had a fear of these type of cupboards to this day, which is still tested as my grandchildren’s nursery school use something simular. ahh memories.

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