The Blarney Stone may exist in Ireland in the village of Blarney, but people the world over know of its existence and its intriguing reputation. It has been said, and believed by many, that whoever kisses the blarney stone will be blessed with the gift of gab, a silver tongue if you will. The gift of gab is also known as the eternal gift of eloquence, which is known as solabharthact in the Irish tongue.
Although no one knows for sure where this custom originates from, the speculation is that it stems from a man known as Cormac MacDermot MacCarthy. The word, blarney, means to speak softy and kindly in an attempt to deceive or placate someone without making the mistake of offending him or her.
It has been said that Cormac MacDermot MacCarthy once made a promise to the Lord President of Munster during the latter half of the sixteenth century. Cormac promised to give his castle to the Crown, Queen Elizabeth I, and yet, he continually made excuses and delayed the fulfillment of his promise.
His softly spoken words were full of promises that remained unfulfilled for quite a time. His softly spoken stream of promises achieved exactly what he wanted- a delay in the turning over of his castle. Indeed, his excuses were so plausible that and always presented at the last minute that they were indeed believed to be valid for quite some time.
His manner of speaking so softly to the representatives of the Crown became known as Blarney talk, supposedly after the Queen commented that she had had enough of his Blarney talk when once again he failed to surrender his castle.
The Blarney Stone is located on the third story of the castle, which is ninety feet tall and sits upon a rocky precipice and above several caves. The Blarney stone is situated on the fortification just below the battlements. Although it is quite difficult to maneuver yourself to a position where you can actually kiss the stone, it is something that many people have attempted.
In the past, people were simply hung over the fortification and secured only by the hands of their friends. However, someone did not receive the gift of gab one day, but simply received a quick trip down to their death. Since then, the stone is kissed by lowering yourself head first, while holding on to the iron rungs, until you can reach the stone and kiss it.