Exceptional things were happening in Liverpool during 1964. The Beatles returned to the city on 10th July for the premier of their first film A Hard Day’s Night, 150,000 people lined the streets to greet them. But a less well known fact is that a few days earlier thousands of children, and curious adults, went hunting for leprechauns in a Liverpool park.
This incident is of interest because of the rapid spread of the rumour and because it appears that the rumour was restricted to school children, and was especially strong among pupils of Roman Catholic schools in the area. According to the Liverpool Daily Post dated 2nd July 1964, the leprechauns were first seen on the night of Tuesday 30th June. Nobody knew how the rumour started, but one nine-year-old boy told the Post reporter, Don McKinley that “last night I saw little men in white hats throwing stones and mud at each other on the bowling green. Honest mister, I did.”
The centre of this leprechaun activity was the bowling green in Jubilee Park, in the Kensington, Edge Lane district. On the second night of the scare, 1st July, the bowling green was so crowded that the police had to clear the park and guard it from the marauding leprechaun hunters who were prone to tear up plants and turf in their search for the little creatures.