Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Cursed Blarney Castle

Most people associate Blarney Castle in County Cork in Ireland with the Blarney stone, which when kissed gives people “the gift of gab.” But this castle is also believed to have a real curse.

The Legend

Cormac MacCarthy, one of Ireland’s great chieftains built Blarney Castle around 1446. Despite the fact Cormac fought with the English-- against the local FitzGerald's, Queen Elizabeth l sent an envoy, the Earl of Leicester to claim his lands and rights.

Legend states Comac lacking the ability to speak with finesse, feared he was not capable of convincing the queen to change her mind. He then met an old woman--said to be actually the goddess Clíodhna-- that told him anyone who kissed the Blarney stone located on the parapet at his castle would be given the gift of eloquent speech. *

Comac did precisely this and then was able to wine and dine, flatter and deceive Leicester who delayed the queen’s decision. This worked for Comac was allowed to keep his family’s traditional land.

The queen afterward stated with irritation that all of the earl’s reports about his progress were “blarney.”

* Part of this gift of gab is wit and the art of persuasion.

The Blarney Stone

Ever since millions of tourists from all around the world have visited the castle to kiss the Blarney stone.

For years, people risked life and limb to lay on their backs stretch across a 90-foot drop backward and kiss the stone --most today are assisted by someone tightly holding onto their mid-sections.

In the 20th century by the time my older brother kissed the stone there were wrought-iron guide rails and protective crossbars in place--all for the gift of “beguiling talk.”

Kissing the Blarney stone
Click to enlarge
The Curse

Many tourists that visit Blarney Castle get more than they bargained for. For it is said there is a curse on Blarney castle and the surrounding area.

The Irish have many myths about the supernatural power of rocks. Their collection of stories about cursed and wishing stones is more extensive than any other country. This is attributed to the Celt's religious devotion to these hard minerals.

The Blarney Castle curse states that if a stone, rock or even a pebble is removed from the area, it will bring misfortune and misery to whoever possesses it.

This legend appears to have some basis in truth.

Castle grounds
The owner of Blarney Castle, Lord Charles Colthurst states the castle every year receives packages containing stones that are being returned-- with a note from the sender stating they feel they are cursed with bad luck.

The Irish Independent often reports on these stories. Linda Kelly from South Carolina believes her experience is proof this curse actually exists.

Kelly is an estate agent. She arranged a sale of possessions in a house that belonged to a priest. He was known to be a recluse who led a miserable life. While in his home she stated she found it creepy.

During this sale, Kelly purchased a stone for $1.00 that was marked, Blarney Castle. She bought the rock for her daughter who was living in Ireland at the time.

As soon as Kelly took possession of this item she began to have bad luck.

She lost many of her upcoming assignments, once back at work she found that her usual sunny disposition was gone. She became deeply depressed for no reason-- she did not even want to leave her house.

She paid all her bills, but she began to get letters and phone calls informing her none of them had been paid. This was the last straw for Kelly she wrapped the rock up and mailed it to County Cork.

A Canadian, Liam Saruman while visiting Blarney castle in February of 2009 picked up a small stone that had fallen off the castle wall. He left thinking he had a unique souvenir.

Once home he experienced a constant stream of bad luck. His life became chaotic. He returned the stone to the castle with a letter that stated he now hoped the curse would be reversed.

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