It's not Blarney -- I hit rock bottom with stolen stone
THE legend that stones stolen from Blarney Castle wreak havoc on ordinary lives continues with an 'unholy' rock freshly returned from the USA.
Linda Kelly from South Carolina posted a rock she brought at an estate sale for $1 back to Blarney, Co Cork, after three weeks of bad luck that included loss of work and unexplained depression.
Ms Kelly, an estate agent who organised the sale of contents from the home of a retired priest, bought the rock despite finding the house "creepy" and vowing not to buy anything.
The priest, a former teacher, had a lived a "sad life" and shut himself off from the world, said Ms Kelly.
"This man's house was filled with religious items. It was a time capsule of stuff from the early 1900s until the 1970s," she said.
She bought the rock to send to her daughter, who is currently working in Ireland. But once it was in her possession, Ms Kelly's luck took a dramatic turn.
"First off, my work dried up for a couple weeks. Then, I had a few days where I felt very depressed, for no reason. I felt so low, I couldn't even leave the house. Totally not like me," she said.
She then received notice that a bill payment she had posted weeks earlier had never arrived.
"After that, I scooped up the rock and drove it straight to the post office. I was a little worried to drive with that rock in the car. When I finally passed it over to the postal clerk, I did feel a sense of relief," she said.
Staff at Blarney Castle confirmed they had received the rock from Ms Kelly.
Two years ago, a Canadian man who stole a piece of castle rock returned the stone following a spate of bad luck. Liam Sareman took a piece of the castle wall in February 2009 but was plagued by misfortune after.
Blarney Castle owner Charles Colthurst said stones continued to be returned to the castle by post each year, feeding the inexplicable legend.
"It's all buried in mythology and folklore and that speaks for itself. If someone takes a piece of stone, it's by their hand.
"I don't know if returning the stone makes them feel better, hopefully it does," he said.