The gift of the gab is a gift not easily achieved. We began the procedure by driving into Blarney and pinning down the Blarney castle. From there we located the lump of bluestone from which the gift emanates, the legendary, Blarney Stone.
The Blarney stone brings visitors from all over the world eager to pucker their lips and place them on the stone. This process is said to endow the kisser with the gift of the gab or in other words, the power to schmooze.
Legend has it that builder, King of Munster, Cormac MacCarthy ran into some legal difficulties while constructing the castle. Goddess, Cliodhna came to his aid. She instructed him to kiss the first stone he found on his way to court. Obediently, MacCarthy kissed the Blarney stone and was consequently granted great eloquence and won his case in court.
‘Tis there’s the stone that whoever kisses
He never misses to grow eloquent;
‘Tis he may clamber to a lady’s chamber,
Or become a member of Parliament.
A noble spouter he’ll sure turn out, or
An out and outer to be let alone;
Don’t try to hinder him, or to bewilder him,
For he is a pilgrim from the Blarney stone.
Francis Sylvester Mahony
The site had been occupied since 1210 A.D. Eight hundred years of development has resulted in beautiful gardened ground and a fantastic stone castle. We wandered through a large portion of this area: taking care not to ingest anything in the poisonous material garden and avoiding puddles in the caves under the castle.The main destination was, of course the stone.
We climbed to the roof of the castle in pursuit of the famous rock. The narrow and steep stairways were slightly difficult to manage. It was hard to believe that the likes of Winston Churchill had once succeeded at the same journey. Despite our disbelief, staff maintained that Churchill, as well as many other famous intellects and celebrities conquered the cramped staircase in order to kiss the stone.
Famous or not, the lips of millions have been placed on stone, which isn’t the most appealing thought when it comes time to perform the kiss yourself. Health hazards become of lesser concern though, when hanging over the edge of the castle to reach the stone.
The Blarney Stone is in no way convenient positioned. The only way to reach the stone is to lean over backwards on the edge of the parapet containing the stone.We do not recommend the stone to anyone with a fear of heights.
With the help of iron support bars and an elderly assistant, we each managed a peck on the stone. Sadly, there has been no apparent sign that the gifts promised were granted.