For many years, remote villages in Ireland have held a dark secret. It is illegal for a human doctor to perform an abortion, but there is no law against leprechauns carrying out the dangerous operation. Two or three times a year in each village, hidden leprechaun abortion parties are held in farmhouses and nunneries. The magical creatures tour eternally on a never-ending journey of pregnancy termination.
One of the "leprechauns" refused to be named but is known as Foetus Paddy. He is of course not actually a leprechaun but a doctor dressed as one. "The law has never been tested. I mean the one where a man dressed as a leprechaun is allowed to perform an abortion. I suspect that I would still be tried as a human. But when people say they had their abortion done by a leprechaun then the police don't ask too many questions."
In any case, the doctor need not worry about being prosecuted any more because abortion by human doctors will be legalised in Ireland. Foetus Paddy has said that he will continue to tour villages offering his services. He will no longer be required to wear the leprechaun outfit, but he will probably continue to do so. "It lightens the mood," he says.
Another business likely to be affected by the lifting of the ban is Seamus' Abortion Cruise, which offers pregnant young women a trip to the UK mainland for a quick termination. Manager Seamus O'Shea believes that he will have to close down. "It's a shame, we have a lot o' fun on de cruise. It's like a party really. De girls all get drunk, because dey can. Den on de way back after dey've had de abortion, we allows boys on as well. It can get a bit crazy. Many of dem get pregnant again right dere and den. It's good for repeat business. It's de circle of life."
Despite potentially losing his job, O'Shea was philosophical about the law change. "I wouldn't describe meself as pro-choice, I'd say I'm more just pro-abortion. If ye believe de Pope, den even spilling yer seed or having a period is sinful. We need to allow abortion so that we can modernise and avoid all dese ridiculous Irish stereotypes. Mind you, I'll probably go back to potato farming."