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Reading Comprehension Worksheet

St. Patrick's Day

For many centuries, as everyone knows, English monarchs tried to impose their will on Ireland. Queen Elizabeth I, eager to extend the influence of her government, sent a deputy to Cormac MacDermot MacCarthy, who was Lord of Blarney, and demanded that he take the tenure of his lands from the Crown. Cormac set out to visit the Queen and plead for his traditional right to his land, but he despaired for success for he was not fluent of speech.

Shortly after starting his journey, he met an old woman who asked him why he looked so forlorn. He told her his story and she said, "Cormac, when Blarney Castle was built, one stone was put into place by a man who predicted no one would ever be able to touch it again. If you can kiss that stone, the gift of eloquence will be conferred upon you."

Cormac traveled back to his castle and succeeded in kissing the stone. He then was able to go and address the Queen with speech so soft and words so fair that as long as he lived, he never had to renounce his right to his land. From that time forward, people have traveled from many lands to try to kiss the Blarney stone and receive the "gift of gab" and eloquence of speech.

1. Which country throughout history was in a power struggle with the of Ireland for their land?

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2. Who was known as "Lord of Blarney"?

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3. What act did Cormac MacDermot MacCarthy believe allowed him to speech fluently to the Queen?

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4. Who told MacCarthy of the legend of the blarney stone?

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