The man takes a hold of me as I lie down on my back. I grab two metal poles behind me and start to arch myself until my head is perpendicular to the rest of my body. The man then starts to lower me down into a hole in the floor. This is not the most natural of feelings but these are the things you do to kiss the most famous stone in Ireland.
The man’s name is Dennis – I guess it’s appropriate to at least be on a first name basis with someone holding me so intimately as I share my saliva (albeit with an inanimate object). He’s seen his fair share of strange things from his perch up here on the top of Blarney Castle.
“When someone takes a dive at the stone,” is his answer when I ask about weird things that happen.
“It never happens with a lady, it’s always with a man. He comes down here, he’s very quiet and nothing happens and when he comes here, it’s a dive he does. And he’s never small. He’s always big. I can’t tell you the words I use in my own mind – they’re not gracious words!” 
Thanks to Gillian who let us know that today’s newspapers featured Millstreet man Denis Cronin who is set to retire from his role of Keeper of the Blarney Stone after 13 years of holding thousands of visitors each day as they hope to gain the gift of the gab. [Irish Examiner] [Journal.ie]. The very best to Denis, who you can often meet in their local shop in Millstreet – An Siopa Deas.
Could you be the next ’Keeper of the Blarney Stone’? (Irish Examiner)