Destinations

Kissing Ireland’s Blarney Stone banned for first time in 600 years

In the latest blow dealt by COVID-19, visitors can no longer kiss a chunk of limestone in Ireland to gain the gift of the gab, if that’s your thing (apparently it is for around 460,000 tourists a year).

Yes, we’re talking about Ireland’s famous Blarney Stone, located in Blarney Castle in County Cork.

The castle’s management sent out a tweet advising that “for the first time in our history the kissing of the Blarney Stone has been postponed until further notice”.

Twitter users had some cleaver responses, with one asking if it was still okay to kiss the stone if tourists used a dental dam.

Another lamented that it was probably for the best as they heard local kids were “pissing on it at night”.

“Oh the humanity!” another responded.

People have been kissing the stone for almost 600 years. Previously, visitors had to be held by the ankles over the castle battlements to reach the stone, but now there is a platform that allows you to literally bend over backwards to reach it.

Credit: iStock/vichinterlang

According to legend, during the 15th century, a man who lived at the castle who had a speech impediment saved a witch from drowning in a lake. The witch promised him he would gain the gift of the gab if he kissed the stone.

Ireland now has around 1,125 cases of COVID-19, and has implemented similar social distancing rules as Australia, cancelling all indoor gatherings of more than 100 people and outdoor gatherings with more than 500.

Featured image credit: iStock/chrisdorney.

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Tourism

John O’Sullivan on Experience Co.’s reset, travel’s recovery and Westbury’s “appalling” comments

by Huntley Mitchell

Travel Weekly has gone one-on-one with Experience Co. CEO and former Tourism Australia boss John O’Sullivan. As in interview him – not verse him in an online game of chess or Battleship.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Labor senator calls for corporate watchdog to investigate Rex

Rex is facing a possible probe from Australia’s corporate watchdog, after its deputy chairman revealed plans for the airline to expand capital city services without informing the ASX.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Australian Border Force extends cruise ban by three months

Those of you who had clients ready and raring to sail out by mid-June may want to prepare a stiff drink before reading this.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Hotel investor Jerry Schwartz proposes helipad for Sofitel Darling Harbour

The prominent Aussie hospitality identity has launched the bold proposal to help revive Sydney’s tourism and conventions profile.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

STUDY: Investing in additional staff training critical for travel industry’s future workforce

Investing in extra training will not only engage staff, but it will also prepare them for the changing landscape of travel, according to new research.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

South Australia’s pubs and cinemas to seat 80 people from June, as WA plans eased regional travel restrictions

by Christian Fleetwood

The moves from each state come as Jacinda Ardern weighs in on the Australian state border row, which she said would need to be sorted out before the trans-Tasman bubble gets the green light.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Aviation Wrap: Air NZ shrinks exec team, Etihad’s new Sydney-London route + MORE

This week’s Aviation Wrap is a bit like that Two-Face character from Batman comics and movies, in that it’s got both good and bad sides to it.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Weekly webinar series to connect agents and suppliers

If you enjoy drinking coffee and having a yarn with your fave suppliers, you’re going to want to get in on this one.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

G Adventures extends suspension of trips, launches another agent challenge

Although international travel is still off the table for the immediate future, G Adventures is keeping agents busy with the launch of a new challenge.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Giants in need: How the dependency on tourism endangers the wellbeing of captive elephants

by Dr Jan Schmidt-Burbach

Despite the fundamental ethical concerns of using elephants in tourism, it can be very profitable and in normal times pays for their upkeep. But what if tourists stop coming altogether?

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Woman dies after falling from balcony at Sydney hotel

by Huntley Mitchell

In other news, Gold Coast detectives have charged three men with murder following the death of a 19-year-old man at a Surfers Paradise holiday apartment complex over the weekend.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Government’s $60bn JobKeeper cost error could see program extended for tourism sector

by Christian Fleetwood

Amid industry calls for its extension, underspending on the federal government’s JobKeeper scheme could be good news for the tourism sector.

Share

CommentComments