IRELAND'S leprechaun catchers were grabbing their nets and pulling on their boots last night as the country began it's search for a new leader.
Bertie Ahern, chief leprechaun since 1997, announced he would be standing down to spend more time at the end of his favourite rainbow in County Meath.
Leading leprechaun catcher, Sheamus O'Flaherty, said the new leader must have a 'bee-ootiful' singing voice and special magic dust that makes the dew sparkle and dance on a sunny Spring morning.
O'Flaherty added: "I'll be lookin' under toadstools and inside old tree stumps, so I will. Then I'll clap my hands together and do a little jig.
"And if he's too shy to come out and say hello, I'll leave him a little bit of boiled beef. Oh, they can't resist it!"
Mickey O'Reardon, a leprechaun hunter in the County of Cork, said: "There's a special cupboard at the back of O'Reilly's pub in the town of Skibereeen where, if you whistle a jaunty tune on a moonlit night in May, the little people come out and loan ye a bit o' their magic.
"But use it wisely mind. They won't forgive you if you waste it on horses and stout and such like."
O'Reardon added: "Of course, the thing ye have to remember most of all when huntin' for a new chief leprechaun is that they love bribes. Great, big, fat bribes."