The Blarney Stone
Cassidy & Salli

Blarney Castle, Ireland

It was early in the tourist season, late in the day and cool and overcast when we made our way to Blarney Castle near Cork in Ireland. As a result, there were very few visitors taking their turn at hanging upside down in the arms of an Irishman to kiss the Blarney Stone and gain the gift of gab. Among those in line were a young Australian woman who brought her favorite stuffed teddy bear to kiss the stone with her, an older American couple who had saved for years to be able to finally make this trip and a group of Canadians who were having a family reunion there (and just what does this say about us Colonists?).

Our host, Dennis, graciously granted Cassidy an interview in between "customers."

Cassidy interviews Dennis for this story and her article for American Girl magazine.

Cassidy: What is your name?

Dennis: Dennis McCarthy

Cassidy: How long do you work in a day?

Dennis: From 9 in the morning to 6:30 in the evening, and we don't take a break. Two people do this job and we take different days off instead of taking breaks.

Cassidy: How old is the Blarney Stone?

Dennis: It was put here in 1476 and they say it came from the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem during the Crusades.

Cassidy: How many people do you get visiting in a day?

Dennis: Between 1,000 to 5,000 (they often wind from the stone, which is on the roofless third floor, down several tight, winding staircases and out the door).

Cassidy: How did you get your job?

Dennis: Because I am a good a kisser!

Cassidy: What is your favorite part about your job?

Dennis: Meeting people.

Cassidy: What is the worst part about your job?

Dennis: Wintertime, its cold and there aren't as many visitors.

Cassidy: Has anyone ever gotten hurt hanging upside down to kiss the Blarney Stone?

Dennis: No, it's perfectly safe.

Cassidy: How long have you worked here?

Dennis: Twenty years, and I love it.

Cassidy gets help from Dennis to do her traditional kiss of the Blarney Stone.

Dennis also told us the story of the stone — how the young lord of the castle had helped an old crone and, as a result he was cured of an outrageous stutter when he kissed the sacred stone. We've seen other versions in books referring to Queen Elizabeth I's exasperation with Lord Blarney's ability to talk endlessly without answering the question put to him.

Although we knew it was probably unsafe to get an extra shot of verbosity in this group, we each took our turn kissing the magic stone. George was as gleeful about his certificate attesting to his bountiful blarney as he was to win a national public relations award (he jokes about it being the necessary diploma for being good at public relations).

Home :: About :: Journals
If you'd like to write to George, Salli, Samantha or Cassidy, drop them a line!

Copyright 1996 - 2011 - No form of usage or reproduction allowed without express written permission