By Cara Sulieman
A PUBLICAN got a shock when his lucky leprechaun went missing – and he received a ransom note in return.
It was only a few days before the big day when he woke up to find his leprechaun, Patrick, missing and a ransom email sat in his inbox.
Didn’t notice anything
Mike said: “On the Saturday night when he was taken we were really busy so I didn’t notice anything.
“The next day I woke up to this email. I was still half asleep and just thought it was some sort of promotion. It never really clicked.
“But when I went to open the pub I noticed Patrick was missing and it all made sense.”
Leprechaun Liberation Army
The email stated that the Leprechaun Liberation Army had “liberated a leprechaun” from the Black Bull and wanted an improvement in his working and living conditions as well as a reward for his return.
It read: “Patrick has asked that to prove your commitment to him you put up some posters offering a reward for his safe return and also perhaps get your customers to fill a pot of gold which Patrick would then donate to charity.”
Mike instantly put up posters in the bar and started raising cash for the charity appeal.
As proof that Patrick was being treated well, the kidnappers sent a number of pictures, including a few that showed him on his “magical leprechaun” trip to the US where he met Barack Obama and some Vegas showgirls.
Mike and his regulars raised £200 from the appeal through collections and pub quizzes. They even showed a filmed appeal during one night’s entertainment.
And due to their hard work Patrick was returned in time to join in the St Patrick’s Day celebrations.
Twelve years loyal service
Mike explained that Patrick was an important family friend after twelve years loyal service.
He said: “My mum used to run the bar at the local golf club and she used Patrick to decorate the bar for St Patrick’s Day.
“When I took on the Black Bull two years ago I inherited him. He’s an important part of our life.
“But we raised a lot of money for charity and we’re pleased to have him back.”
Boozy night in the pub
Although it seemed like a carefully planned operation, the kidnap was in fact the result of a boozy night in the pub.
Martin and Angela Matchett, the couple behind the Leprechaun Liberation Army, explained that the kidnap was spontaneous and they had to make it up as they went along.
They said: “We just had a few drinks and the idea came to us and before we knew it our son Liam had Patrick stuffed up his jumper and we were home with him.
“Then the idea grew arms and legs and we decided to see how far we could take it.
“It turned out the family had had him for years so it was lucky we didn’t go with our first idea to cut his finger off and send it with the ransom.
“Mike did think it was us that took Patrick and it was hard to keep straight faces when we were in the pub.”