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Kissing the Blarney Stone

Updated on April 28, 2012

What is Blarney

blar·ney (blär'nē)

n.

  1. Smooth, flattering talk.

  2. Deceptive nonsense.

Where Is It

Five miles north west of the small city of Cork is the village of Blarney - Cormac MacCarthy erected the present castle in 1446. Built on a rock, above several caves, the tower originally had three storeys. On the top storey, just below the battlements on the parapet, is the world famous Blarney Stone, said to give the gift of eloquence to all who kiss it. Kissing the stone is for some people a difficult physical feat. In past times, to kiss the Stone people were hung by their heels over the edge of the parapet. One day a pilgrim broke from the grasp of his friends and went hurtling downward to certain death. Since that time the stone has been kissed by another method. First, you sit with your back towards the stone and then someone sits upon your legs or firmly holds your feet. Next, leaning far back and downward into the abyss while grasping the iron rails, you lower yourself until your head is even with the stone to be kissed.

something to talk about - kissing the Blarney Stone

The Origin of Blarney

During the time of Queen Elizabeth I, Dermot McCarthy, the ruler of the castle, was required to surrender his fortress to the Queen as proof of his loyalty. He said he would be delighted to do so, but something always happened at the last moment to prevent his surrender. His excuses became so frequent and indeed so plausible that the official who had been demanding the castle in the name of the Queen became a joke at the Court. Once, when the eloquent excuses of McCarthy were repeated to the Queen, she said "Odds bodikins, more Blarney talk!" The term Blarney has thus come to mean 'the ability to influence and coax with fair words and soft speech without giving offense'.

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    • Drax profile image
      Author

      des donnelly 6 years ago from NYC....

      @Jami... thanks.. but to die in the midst of the kiss... people would talk about it and so the objective is attained... ;-)

    • Drax profile image
      Author

      des donnelly 6 years ago from NYC....

      @Jami... thanks.. but to die in the midst of the kiss... people would talk about it and so the objective is attained... ;-)

    • profile image

      jami l. pereira 6 years ago

      I voted this up , useful (because , maybe someone will learn how to kiss it the right way without dieing ) lol and awesome , because it was and thirdly i voted it interesting because it wasnt soo looong and boring that i lost focus ! great write , i really enjoyed this piece thanks for the read!:)

    • Drax profile image
      Author

      des donnelly 9 years ago from NYC....

      Hi Mike, thanks for the comment, the more I think about it the next time I'm near Blarney Castle I'm going to go...

    • profile image

      mikeq107 9 years ago

      Hi Drax,

      Used to live in Cork City and have Kissed it twice and have never been the same scince ! lol But your story is very true, although who in there right mind would let a Irish man old you out over the parapit in the old days after he had a night on the town...sure glad its inside!

    • Drax profile image
      Author

      des donnelly 11 years ago from NYC....

      Thanks Jimmy, you do not need the Blarney, you have enough of it already :-) ..I've never been myself but it does not look to be any fun hanging out over thin air to kiss a rock.... I might have to struggle on with what little I can say....

    • jimmythejock profile image

      James Paterson 11 years ago from Scotland

      great hub drax,,there is alot of irish folkore about but alas the blarney stone will never be kissed by me i am afraid of heights.....jimmy

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