Kevin Woods, known as McCoillte the "Last Leprechaun Whisperer" appeared on Virgin's morning show, "Ireland AM" to speak about the failing population of the impish creatures much associated with Irish mythology. 

According to Wood, who hails from Carlingford, County Louth, there were once millions of leprechauns but the population has died out over the years. He explained that leprechauns attached their spirit to humans but only began doing so when the Vikings arrived in Ireland, around 802 AD. Woods said the leprechauns did this to help humans and to "make sure that they survive as a species".

Woods told "Ireland AM's" presenters Alan Hughes and Muireann O'Connell "There are 236 left, there were millions of them".

"They all died. There were millions of them, as you know, all over Ireland. The leprechaun spirit attached itself to the human spirit, and it didn’t do that until the Vikings came to Ireland, say around 802.

"They were so cruel, the leprechauns said that he would help the human and his spirit became attached to the human spirit."

Woods explained that the leprechaun population started to dwindle when the Irish started to emigrate. He said that's when the Irish "stopped believing in leprechauns".

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What are leprechauns?

Leprechauns are mythical creatures from Irish folklore, typically depicted as small, bearded men wearing green coats and buckled shoes. Legend has it that they are mischievous creatures who hoard pots of gold at the end of rainbows. They are often portrayed as cobblers or shoemakers, known for their craftsmanship.

According to folklore, if you catch a leprechaun, they may grant you three wishes in exchange for their freedom. They are closely associated with St. Patrick's Day and have become a symbol of Irish culture and luck. Leprechauns continue to be popular figures in stories, movies, and various cultural representations.