1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Blarney
Blarney, a small town of Co. Cork, Ireland, in the mid parliamentary division, 5 m. N.W. of the city of Cork on the Cork & Muskerry light railway. Pop. (1901) 928. There is a large manufacture of tweed. The name “blarney” has passed into the language to denote a peculiar kind of persuasive eloquence, alleged to be characteristic of the natives of Ireland. The “Blarney Stone,” the kissing of which is said to confer this faculty, is pointed out within the castle. The origin of this belief is not known. The castle, built c. 1446 by Cormac McCarthy, was of immense strength, and parts of its walls are as much as 18 ft. thick. To its founder is traced by some the origin of the term “blarney,” since he delayed by persuasion and promises the surrender of the castle to the lord president. Richard Millikin’s song, “The Groves of Blarney” (c. 1798), contributed to the fame of the castle, which is also bound up with the civil history of the county and the War of the Great Rebellion.