The Lia Fail or Stone of Destiny at The Hill of Tara, Co. Meath

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The Lia Fail or Stone of Destiny at The Hill of Tara, Co. Meath, ancient seat of the High Kings of Ireland until the 6th century AD. This standing stone is on the Inauguration Mound, and in legend it was the Coronation Stone for Irish High Kings into the 6th Century AD.

The Hill of Tara is located near Dunshaughlin and Navan, and the River Boyne.

Also in legend, the stone was supposed to have been brought to Ireland by the Tuatha D̩ Danann Рa magical race who once ruled Ireland. The Lia Fail itself was supposed to have magical properties Рwhen a rightful king put his feet on it, it would roar for joy, and would rejuvenate a king to give him a long reign.

Cúchulainn split it with his sword when it failed to cry out under his protegé, Lugaid Riab nDerg, and from then on it never roared again, except under Conn of the Hundred Battles and Brian Boru.

You’ve got to admit though, it’s a bit of a phallic symbol – author Michael Slavin suggests that the king had to wed the Goddess of Sovereignty. However, it appears she was wearing a strap on!

Chief Bottle Washer at Blather
Writer, photographer, environmental campaigner and "known troublemaker" Dave Walsh is the founder of, described both as "possibly the most arrogant and depraved website to be found either side of the majestic Shannon River", and "the nicest website circulating in Ireland". Half Irishman, half-bicycle. He lives in southern Irish city of Barcelona.


  1. This was funny to me to see because the stone looks like a Shiva Linga… I wonder if Hindu people see it the same way? It is also funny that the area around there is the Hill of Tara. Isn’t Tara a Hindu Goddess? OM TARA TU TARE TURE SVAHA!

  2. This is really cool to me. I’ve read about this place in Artemis Fowl (the six-part series) but I’d never thought it was real until it popped up one one of my Google Images searches. In the books, it mentions Tara as the most magical place in the world, with Ireland as a whole being second. Hearing the folklore about it really helps with the series, too. You should read them. They’re not just for kids. Look at Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer.
    (P.S. Arty is the main character’s nickname. Peace!)

  3. morgan llewellin’s book “lion of ireland
    would make a great film about brian boru

  4. Um, hi. This article is interesting and lovely, and answers my questions very nicely. I’m sorry that all of the other commenters on this one are mad, by the way – poor luck on your end. Good on you for posting this, though – thanks.

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