Stone me! Canadian’s bad luck shows myth not a load of Blarney

A CANADIAN who took a piece of the wall Blarney Castle during a visit last year has returned it following a spate of bad luck.

Liam Sareman took a piece of the wall as special souvenir on a trip to Blarney in February 2009 but was plagued by months of misfortune.

Eager to turn his luck around, Mr Sareman packaged the stone and returned it to its rightful place, with a letter explaining his actions.

Staff at Blarney Castle received the package earlier this month, including the man’s note which explained he took the piece of stone despite being aware of the legend attached to the castle — that all “borrowed” stones were eventually returned to Blarney in a bid to end unexplained spells of bad luck.

Mr Sareman asked staff to place the stone back in its original position in a bid to end his misfortune. Blarney Castle owner, Sir Charles Colthurst, said the legend is very much alive, with numerous pieces of the castle wall returned by post each year.

“He is one of many who have done this, that Canadian man, it’s not unusual — it happens every year,” he said.

“I get bits of stone returned, sometimes four or five pieces a year, from visitors who said they suffered terribly bad luck having taken a piece of stone from the castle or from the grounds.

“The annual return of the mischievous stones continues to feed the inexplicable legend.

“They never go into what kind of bad luck they’ve had, they just package up a stone and send it with a note, asking for it to be returned.

“They could lean down, pick a stone off the path — I don’t know where.

“But in general, they will say, since they went back to wherever they live, they’ve had bad luck and they want to return the stone,” Sir Colthurst said.

While proof for the legend appears alive and well, Sir Colthurst said the resulting misfortune might be central to the act itself.

“Well its all a load of Blarney isn’t it? Maybe its a punishment for stealing. Every act tells a tale,” he said.


I see that a website describes the call of Canarian cory’s shearwaters as ‘waca waca’. It’s a mad, hysterical call, uttered when the parent birds arrive to feed their nestlings.Cory’s shearwaters show long-distance qualities

Is it too much to hope that an important public health matter, such as Lyme disease, will be an issue in the general election? There’s been a worrying reluctance by the authorities to face up to the extent of the disease here.Facing up to Lyme disease

A paper published in Current Biology examines the extinction of a colourful little bird which, until recently, thrived in the eastern US. With the appalling environmental catastrophe enveloping Australia, home to 56 of the world’s 370 parrot species, this account of the Carolina parakeet’s demise is timely.Trying to save the parrot is not all talk

The recent rescue of a trawler 20km north of Fanad Head in Co Donegal gave us a glimpse of the enormous seas that occasionally strike that part of the coast.Islands of Ireland: Inishbeg Island begs the question

More From The Irish Examiner