Pre-Christian Gaelic Ireland.

The shamrock, which was also called the “seamroy” by the Celts, was a sacred plant in ancient Ireland because it symbolized the rebirth of spring. Celtic people are believed to have spread the genes for red hair .

From  wikipedia,

A leprechaun is a type of fairy in Irish folklore. (Red-headed!) It is usually depicted as a little bearded man, wearing a coat and hat, who partakes in mischief. They are solitary creatures who spend their time making and mending shoes
and have a hidden pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

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