Tag Archives: blarney castle

Kiss, or Don’t Kiss, The Blarney Stone

S is 54, he lived in England where his mother is from for the first ten years of his life before his family moved to California. He is soft spoken and pauses thoughtfully while speaking. He told me about the Blarney Stone, which he learned about visiting Ireland.

“One I heard about visiting Ireland… it’s like a rock that’s sort of like a cliff’s edge and if you hang upside down and kiss the Blarney Stone, you’ll be given the gift of the gab… meaning you will be able to speak well extemporaneously… and so during the day, the tourists come and lay back and kiss the stone but the locals pee on it at night.”

The Blarney Stone is found at the top of Blarney Castle, there are various legends about where the stone came from, some can be found here: https://web.archive.org/web/20100830230658/http://www.blarneycastle.ie/pages/stone. The bit about locals peeing on it seems to be another piece of folklore. This reddit thread proved inconclusive, some contributors thinking it’s too difficult to get into the castle at night and during the day there would be too many people including a guard to get away with it. https://www.reddit.com/r/ireland/comments/3ywbkq/do_people_really_piss_on_the_blarney_stone/. Either way it’s an interesting piece because it shows the tension between a reliance on tourism and the potential for resentment than can arise from that dependence.