Kiss Kissing The Blarney Stone Goodbye

I watched the final of The Apprentice last night.
So glad Tom won, he seemed like the only one who didn’t have their head so far up their own arse they were actually licking their tonsils.

Helen was just too intense, I liked little Susie, but she was so naive, yet still full of herself and as for Jim….

Jim set my teeth on edge straight from day one. He seemed like something out of Star Trek, assimiliting human characteristics through contact with the species.
I thought Margaret was incredibly restrained not leaping up and beating him about the head with his business plan when she asked him to say something about himself without using a cliche and he replied
“I am exactly what it says on the tin.”
Presumably a tin of dickhead meat then.

One of the other interviewers noted that Jim had the gift of the gab, the true Irish blarney.

You get the true Irish blarney from kissing the Blarney stone.

I’ve done it, so have two of my brothers.
Ian stayed at home, being 18, and came to a mutual agreement with the cat, whereby it buggered off for a fortnight, taking its meals outside and he had the run of the house.
The day of our return, Ian tidied the house, the cat returned and took up her usual waiting place on the windowledge, and none of us were any the wiser.
However I digress.

What is bothering me today is whether you can still kiss the Blarney stone.

As I recall the Blarney stone is situated in the battlement walls of Blarney Castle.
You have to climb a narrow, twisting stairway up a turret to get onto the battlements.

Oh oh, no disabled access there then.
And those steps are pretty dangerous, what with being narrow at one side and less than narrow at the other.
And uneven through wear and tear. And maybe they have put in some sort of a banister now, but I seem to recall it was somewhere between 350 and 400 steps to the top, not the sort of thing even a bannister could help with for those who get out of puff a bit easily.
Heaven help the lardarses, they’d get stuck between the walls.

The Blarney Stone was positioned below the level of footway on the battlements and to kiss it you had to lie on your back, feet facing inward, and lean backwards, putting your head down and back and then lean forwards, opposite direction to your feet, whilst a diminutive chap in a tweed jacket, collarless shirt, flat cap and capstan full strength directed you to give it a big sloppy one, I think he said something like, “you’ve not done it unless you taste the salt”, or maybe that was the last person’s saliva or possibly even snot, before hauling you back up to 200 hundred feet above terra firma and taking a slug of the ubiquitous pint of Guinness.

So where would health and safety start there then?

“Have to lower the ramparts or raise the stone. Everyone going up there must have a Hi Vi jacket and a hard helmet.
Stone to be cleaned with anti bacterial cleanser and/or alcohol rub before each kissing.
No smoking in your place of work and as for Guinness, pah, probably best to shut the place down.”

Can you still kiss the Blarney stone? Does it give you the gift of the gab or does one merely kiss a facsimile of the Blarney Stone which merely gives you a facsimile of the gift of the gab, leaving you only the option of speaking in cliches.
And, furthermore, Does It Say It On The Tin?

The Apprentice: The Roman Circus Is Back
Apprentice Idiots