What is Blarney? Dictionary defines it as “a talk which aims to charm, flatter, or persuade (often considered typical of Irish people)”. For example
“it took all my Irish blarney to keep us out of court“.
Blarney is a village in Cork Ireland. There is a castle by the same name Blarney Castle. In this castle, on one battlement is a stone made of limestone. The stone is said to have magical powers and anyone kissing it is supposed to get powers of eloquence.
Every year thousands of people visit the place from all over the world to kiss the stone and get those powers. Powers to charm others by sweet charismatic talk.
Kissing the stone is in itself a very hard task. Since the stone is set in the battlement wall separated from the main land by a deep chasm or moat.
During earlier times, when safety was not considered paramount, it is said that the person was hand head down from heels by a rope and lowered to the stone.
Nowadays it is not so. Since the stone is still at the same place, a railing has been placed on both sides of the stone. Person sits on the edge with his back towards the wall and two people hold his legs while he bends his torso backwards and reaches the stone.
History of the stone:
Although the castle was constructed in 1446, the story of the stone is about 200 years older than that. As with the ancient legends, its origin is also shrouded in the mystery and hypothesis. One legend is that this is the stone which Moses hit with his staff and water came gushing from it. Another legend is that it was Jacob’s pillow which Jeremiah brought to Ireland and since was used as the royal stone by Irish kings. In 1446, King Dermot McCarthy then installed the stone in an enlarged castle he constructed.
How the stone gained magical powers, a local legend claims that an old women, saved from drowning by a king of Munster, rewarded him with a spell, that if he would kiss a stone on the castle’s top, he would gain a speech that would win all to him.
There is even a poem singing the praises of the powers of the stone:
There is a stone there, that whoever kisses, Oh! He never misses to grow eloquent: 'Tis he may clamber to a lady's chamber, Or become a member of Parliament.