Former Notre Dame mascot reacts to 1st female leprechaun mascot

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(WBRE/WYOU) — History is made at the University of Notre Dame. A junior at the university has been named the first female mascot.

Who says girls can’t be leprechauns? The University of Notre Dame is making history this year. For the first time ever, there will be a female mascot, Lynnette Wulkie.

“The tradition had always been that only a man could serve in that position and I’m so glad that that’s been broken this year,” former mascot Joe Cosgrove said.

Pittston native Joe Cosgrove went to the University of Notre Dame and has a certain affinity for the fabled Fighting Irish mascot. Cosgrove was the leprechaun from 1976 to 1978.

“They were great years to be the leprechaun. Notre Dame went to the Final Four in basketball, The NCAA’s the year before and won the national championship in football,” Cosgrove said.

According to Cosgrove, once a leprechaun, always a leprechaun.

“The leprechaun has a tradition. There’s a group that we meet every four years or so and all of the leprechauns get back together. We raise money for these different charities. It’s a really great fraternity and now it has the first woman and we’re thrilled,” Cosgrove said.

Cosgrove has some advice for Wulkie.

“The leprechaun, unlike other mascots, this face is the leprechaun’s face, so you get seen in places and are recognized as the mascot’s no matter what. So there’s almost no downtime. So I would urge her to make sure she does get to step away,” Cosgrove said. “Lynnette just be careful. Have a great time and welcome aboard.”

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