Description

TARA LIA INTRO

Monument Type: Standing stone

SMR No.: ME031-033014-

A pillar-shaped stone on the northern side of the central mound of the Forradh, this monument is popularly identified as the Lia Fáil (1.57m high, girth 1.58m at ground level and 1.23m near the top), known as The Stone of Destiny. This identifiation is not certain. It was reputedly moved here from its original position near the Mound of the Hostages in 1824 in commemoration of those who fell during the Battle of Tara in 1798. It is lightly engraved with a cross and the letters R.I.P., below which may be the very faint traces of a ringed cross.

The stone is phallus-shaped and such a stone features in an account of the inauguration ceremony of the kings of Tara described in the 8th-century text De Shíl Chonairi Móir ('On the descendants of Conaire Mór'), according to which the prospective king Conaire Mór mates symbolically with the sovereignty goddess, by riding his chariot between the magical stones Blocc and Bluigne, which part only for the rightful king, and over the Lia Fáil, which screeches out against the chariot axle.

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