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Kiss goodbye to the Blarney Stone – one of Ireland’s oldest and most famous tourist attractions closes for good

blarney stone-nON the April 30, 2016 one of Ireland’s most well-known tourist attractions will close for good.

The Blarney Stone, thought by some to grant those who kiss it the ‘gift of the gab’ has long been a draw for tourists visiting the south of Ireland.

Situated on the grounds of Blarney Castle and Gardens, Co. Cork, the 200-year-old stone has been visited by world statesmen, literary giants, and legends of the silver screen as well as millions of tourists.

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Up until 1999, pilgrims wishing to press their lips against the stone in hope of gaining some Irish eloquence had to climb several narrow flights of steps, held by the ankles and lowered head first over the battlements.

b castleIn 2000, it was announced the in the interests of protecting the health and safety of visitors, an iron railing was installed allowing tourists to simply lean backwards and hold onto the rail and kiss the stone from the safety of the castle’s parapet.

While the legend of the stone holds appeal for many, the attraction has been harshly criticised by some.

In 2011, The Daily Mail branded it “Ireland’s most unhygienic tourist attraction” addressing rumours that locals have long urinated on the stone at night.

A statement released yesterday confirmed that while public access to the castle and adjoining gardens will remain open year round, public will no longer be able to kiss the Blarney stone from the end of the month.

Reaction to the news in Cork has been mixed.

24 -year-old stone mason Johnny Maloney tweeted his disappointment: “Where will I go for a pee now lads?” he wrote.

Cork woman Mary Mooney told The Irish Post: “This is health and safety gone mad. Stone mad.”

Well…did you spot our April Fools’? 


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29 comments on “Kiss goodbye to the Blarney Stone – one of Ireland’s oldest and most famous tourist attractions closes for good”

  1. Frank

    Fool's ! 😉

  2. liz

    its a well known act the local lads always pee on it they find it amusing???????????

  3. Jim Freeman

    Has to be April Fools joke!

  4. Viv Taylor

    I agree with lady from Cork all health and safety has gone mad what did they do years ago and people are living loner than ever over 90 and no such thing as health and safety.

  5. Dorothy Poleykett

    They are taking some of the magic out of Ireland.

    • Ann

      They're taking the piss--literally.

    • Lynn Quin

      This is an April Fool's joke. I live in Ireland, about two hours from Blarney. There is no other reference to this other than the post on this page. The Blarney Stone is not closing!

    • Katy Harrington

      Hi Dorothy, This was our April Fools' as you may have suspected! Thank you for the comment.

  6. Wal C

    You must be joking, it's like saying Guinness must be served with no head.

    • Katy Harrington

      Hi Wal C! We are joking, this was out April Fools'. Thanks for the comment.

  7. Tom

    Look at the author...

  8. Caroline

    Ha ha April fools, If it were true it would be headlines on the evening echoooooo!

  9. ossiebee

    Wakey, wakey - it's the 1st April, and the writer's name is... "Fibs McGee"!?

  10. Nick

    NOTE: the story is credited to Fibs Mc Gee !!

  11. Rose Lucey-

    Is this an April Fool's Joke??

    • Katy Harrington

      Hi Rose.
      This was our April Fools' as you may have suspected! Thank you for the comment.

  12. James Toney

    If the stone is gone, what about "the gift of the Blarney" when I talk? Is it just B.S. or is an "April's Fool" joke?

  13. diana handley

    haha it was april the first lol

  14. bernadette downes

    How high would they have to climb for a wee..ridiculous

  15. David

    Surely someone is taking the P***!

  16. Colin

    But surely the pee is 70% proof??!!

  17. Hev

    What a load of cobs wallop health and safety my bum xx

  18. Seamus

    1st April?
    This likely to be true?
    I visited Blarney Castle in 1997 and one didn't have to hang over the battlements to kiss it then... and congratulations to anyone able to send their pee on a trajectory which would land on the thing.
    If the story isn't true, it ought to be, because approaching the damn thing is a risk to life an limb.

    • Katy Harrington

      Hi Seamus, it was an April Fools' as you suspected. Thanks for the comment.

  19. Lee

    We contacted the Blarney Castle directly. This was their response:
    BLARNEY CASTLE: "Thank you for the message. This is an April fools joke done in poor taste and without our prior knowledge. Steps are being taken to get the rectified."

    • Katy Harrington

      Hi Lee,
      This was our April Fools' Day story...check the byline and the date of publication.
      The Blarney Stone will, of course, remain open to the public as always.
      Many thanks for taking the time to comment.

  20. Susan

    First of all pee is sterile. Keep the kissing and pee flowing.

    • bob

      there is the risk of legionaires disease.

  21. Katie

    We. Read this here in Australia. Assumed this was an April fools joke. Not like what the Aussie Foreign Affairs office had to say about Ireland. Everyone try and pick up "Thurles Information.'' and read what the Australian Foreign Affairs had to say about Ireland. And warning Tourists travelling to Ireland to be on the look out for violence because of the uprising. Goodness knows Tipperary is trying to get the Tourists to visit Tipperary and especially Thurles. Without this type of garbage from them. I would be more afraid to travel to Australian with all the killings and stabbings going on every night. And I know. I have lived here for over 30 years. Come on all you Irish and let the Australian Foreign Affairs Office know what you think. I certainly will be in touch with the Irish Foreign Affairs minister 'Charlie Flanagan" For his response on this.


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