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Blarney Castle Ireland I touched the Blarney Stone, but not with my lips. I already have the gift of gab and you know what the locals say about the Stone.

Muckross Abbey, founded in 1448 is one of the major ecclesiastical sites found in the Killarney National Park. It has had a violent history, and has been damaged and reconstructed many times. The Friars were often persecuted and subjected to raids by marauding groups. Today the Abbey is largely roofless, although apart from this is generally quite well preserved. Photo by Guenter Heyde.

Kissing the Blarney Stone is harder than you might think. The Blarney Stone, a block of bluestone built into the battlements of Blarney Castle in Blarney (outside of Cork, Ireland) in 1446, is said to give the gift of gab (eloquent speech) to those who kiss it. The problem? Actually doing so. You have to lean backward (holding onto an iron railing) from the parapet walk while an assistant helps. (And there wasn’t always an iron railing. Visitors once were held just by their limbs.

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