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Blarney Castle, Co. Cork

Blarney Castle was built in 1446 by Dermot McCarthy, King of Munster. The world famous Blarney Stone is situated high up in the battlements of the castle. The stone is believed to be half of the Stone of Scone which originally belonged to Scotland. Scottish Kings were crowned over the stone, because it was believed to have special powers. Queen Elizabeth I wanted Irish chiefs to agree to occupy their own lands under title from her. Cormac Teige McCarthy, the Lord of Blarney, handled every Royal request with subtle diplomacy, promising loyalty to the Queen without "giving in". Elizabeth proclaimed that McCarthy was giving her "a lot of Blarney", thus giving rise to the legend.

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