Even in the present day "Dermod and Grania's beds" are associated with runaway couples and with aphrodisiac customs. Of this Dutton's experience when in search of the Ballycasheen "bed" in Clare, is an excellent example. He relates that on inquiry from some country girls where this celebrated "bed" was situated, he was heartily laughed at for asking one of them to show him the way to it.
"After a long consultation with one somewhat older than herself- sometimes with very serious countenances, often with smiling ones, and the elder using a good deal of persuasion - she agreed to go with me, if she was certain I was a stranger, and she knew my name. As the conversation between them was in Irish, which I did not understand, and the evening was growing late, I became impatient, and very ungallantly rode away. When I had ridden a mile further I made the same inquiry from a herd's wife, and at the same time told her how I had been laughed at by the girls. She said, 'No wonder for them, for it was the custom that if whe went with a stranger to Darby and Grane's bed she was certainly to grant him everything he asked.' "
Commenting on this, W C Borlace remarks that from anecdotes he had himself heard, as well as from covert jokes which he noticed, passing in Irish, between persons who had accompanied him to "Dermod and Grania's beds," he is sure that this reputation is still attached to these monuments. No doubt but that from Pagan times comes the widespread notion that these "Beds" were efficacious in cases of barrenness. Dutton remarks that if a woman "proves barren, a visit with her husband to Darby and Grane's bed certainly cures her."
From 'Traces of the elder faiths of Ireland' (p348-9) by W G Wood-Martin, 1902.