Sunday, February 19, 2012


Would you like to see a leprechaun?  Or even be one for a day?  Would you like to be part of a record breaking attempt and be in the Guinness Book of Records?

Glenties, County Donegal, Ireland
If you have answered yes to any of the above, then Glenties in County Donegal on Saturday the 17th of March 2012, St. Patrick's Day, is the place to be.

Carmel Doherty and two of the smaller dragons
The village of Glenties County Donegal is making an attempt to break the world record for the most leprechauns in one place at one time.  Carmel Doherty, Chairperson of the Glenties Community Action Group, told us that they have been accepted by the Guinness Book of Records and so if they beat the previous records, they will be entered into the Guinness Book of Records as the place where the most leprechauns gathered in one place at one time.

The record was first held by the American TV chat show host, Jay Leno on St. Patrick's Day 2011 in Los Angeles where 224 leprechauns turned up.  However this record was then broken in November 2011 by Ireland's RTE's personality Derek Mooney when he had 250 leprechauns turn up at the Grand Central Theater in Dublin.

There are so far nearly 200 leprechauns registered for the St. Patrick's Day record breaking attempt in Glenties so they are aleardy near breaking the previous record.  Leprechauns of all ages are welcome ~ even as young as babies and there are currently four little babies entered all of whom will wear his or her own tiny leprechaun outfit, especially sized for them by the people of Glenties.  They will even have a "Dulux" (Old English Sheepdog) wearing a leprechaun outfit in the parade!

The Community Centre, Glenties
Working away in the Community Centre in Glenties is Carmel and a group of local helpers producing leprechaun outfits for all the participants.  They are inviting anyone from anywhere to be part of the this record breaking attempt.   The fee to enter is just €10 and this is to cover the cost of the outfit you will be supplied with which includes a waistcoat, hat, and beard. 

All you need to do is registered your name on line as soon as possible (link below) and turn up on the day wearing a white long sleeved shirt or Tshirt, black trousers and black shoes (if you don't have black trousers green or red trousers are accepted by the Guinness Book of Records too). 

It is very important that those taking part turn up wearing:

~ a long sleeved WHITE SHIRT or T.SHIRT 

~ BLACK shoes


Any variation (say jeans or short sleeved shirts or runners) will exclude that person from being included in the number count under the Guinness Book of Record rules.

The leprechauns will gather for the count on the Patrick McGill bridge in the centre of Glenties at 2pm on St. Patrick's Day when the number will be adjudicated and confirmed, after which the St. Patrick's Day festivities begin in full.

The huge head of the 30 metre long dragon
Glenties, who have not held a St. Patrick's Day Festival in many years, are intending that their relaunching of the Glenties St. Patrick's Parade to be a colour full and busy one and a great family day out.  They have been busy preparing costumes and props for local entrants in the parade including a huge and very colourful dragon which will measure some thirty metres and snake his way through the village during the parade.  Smaller dragons will bring even more colour to the parade following in the footsteps of the monster dragon.

Some of the jewel coloured headdresses
There will be local girls wearing fabulous fanned and sequined head gear in bright jewelled colours dancing their way through the streets too.

On the streets there will be traditional Irish music musicians playing for the crowds and there will also be a range of traditional games played in Ireland many years ago, mostly all forgotten now but brought back for the St. Patrick's Day festival in Glenties.  All the cafes, restaurants and bars will be open too and many of the bars will also be hosting traditional Irish music sessions.

Glenties' St. Patrick ~ in the making
Of course being St. Patrick's Day the parade would not be complete without St. Patrick himself and they have produced a very much larger than life St. Patrick to lead the parade. The photo above shows the beginnings of their St. Patrick and already it can be seen how huge it will be, possibly as high as 17 feet.

LISTEN to our interview with carmel HERE

If you would like to be a leprechaun for a day or even be part of the record breaking attempt by being there when, hopefully, the record is broken you can register (and Begora, go'wan, you know you want to) HERE

Carmel, getting the Guinness on in her bar, Keeney's, Glenties
There is ample parking in Glenties and on the outskirts of the town but it would be advisable to be there by 1pm.  Further information can be had by contacting Carmel by email or phone:  
Telephone 087-9307423 (within Ireland) and outside Ireland 00353-87-9307423

NOTE: We will be doing a new blog post following the 17th of March reporting on the Guinness Book of Record attempt by Glenties and adding lots of photographs of the day.
Obviously many people won't be able to travel to Glenties for the record breaking attempt but if you want to send a photo of you in leprechaun gear on St. Patrick's Day or even groups of leprechauns at your St. Patrick's Day parade, you can send your photo to welovedonegal @ (join the spaces either side of the @) and we will create a page on WeLoveDonegal especially for you all.

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