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County Meath   Hill of Tara  

Lia Fail

Standing Stone / Menhir

<b>Lia Fail</b>Posted by postmanImage © christopher bickerton
Also known as:
  • The Stone of Destiny

Nearest Town:Dunshaughlin (9km SE)
OS Ref (IE):   N919596 / Sheet: 42
Latitude:53° 34' 41.57" N
Longitude:   6° 36' 44.57" W

Added by FourWinds

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News

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5,000-year-old standing stone vandalised in Meath


Gardaí are investigating vandalism to the Lia Fáil - the standing stone at the top of the Hill of Tara in Co Meath.
A garda spokesman confirmed that green and red paint was poured over the stone overnight.
At least 50% of the 5,000-year-old granite has been covered by the paint... continues...
ryaner Posted by ryaner
29th May 2014ce

Images (click to view fullsize)

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<b>Lia Fail</b>Posted by Meic <b>Lia Fail</b>Posted by Meic <b>Lia Fail</b>Posted by McGlen <b>Lia Fail</b>Posted by CianMcLiam <b>Lia Fail</b>Posted by postman <b>Lia Fail</b>Posted by CianMcLiam <b>Lia Fail</b>Posted by Cursuswalker <b>Lia Fail</b>Posted by Joe McGuinness

Fieldnotes

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Visited 23.5.11
'Blow wind blow'……………….and it certainly did!
The wind by now was near gale force. I could hardly stand up.
In fact it was so windy I had to hang on to Lia Fail to stop myself being blown over!
Around the base of Lia Fail are a set of slate tiles fanning out from the stone.
The stone itself is about 1.5 metres high and fairly slender.
Oddly enough next to the stone is a worn headstone dated 1798 (re-erected 1932). This provided a little welcome shelter out of the wind as I tried to admire the scenery.
Posted by CARL
9th June 2011ce

A wonderfully simple stone, with the modern base seeming not to detract from its power.
From here it is easy to believe that, on a clear day, 20% of the land mass of Ireland can be seen from Tara.

I have no Irish ancestry that I know of, but as my partner is half Irish I chose this place, as a Druid, to quietly say hello to the land and formally introduce myself.

What a fantastic spot...
Cursuswalker Posted by Cursuswalker
11th October 2003ce
Edited 13th October 2003ce

The Lia Fail (Stone of Destiny) was taken/borrowed/stolen from The Hill of Tara, Ireland and taken to Scotland to serve as the coronation stone for the Irish raiders who were to help form the nation of Scotland (distinct & separate from, although to eventually incorporate The Picts. 'Scoti' being the Celtic for 'raider' or 'invader' ). It was from HERE that it was subsequently taken by the English monarchs, to serve the same purpose for their benefit. It stands in Westminster Abbey, not the Palace of Westminster, under the Coronation Chair...if indeed it is the same one, as:
a) it may never have originally left Ireland
b) it may never have left Scotland
Posted by muirchertach
8th May 2003ce
Edited 8th May 2003ce

Folklore

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As far as I'm aware, legend says, that the Stone of Destiny a.k.a The Stone of Scone, Jacob's Pillow was brought to Ireland by the Gaels from Galicia having been previously acquired by the Gaels in their travels through Egypt.

This Stone was subsequently taken by the rulers of Tara, the Kings of Ireland (the sons of Niall) to their new power base in Scotland.

And so on via Edward I (boo hiss etc)... but it now resides in Edinburgh Castle with a caveat from the present monarchy that it should be returned to Westminster Abbey for the royal arse to be sat on for any subsequent coronation ceremonies.

So if the Stone of Destiny is in Edinburgh Castle what is the Lia Fail?

This is also a Stone of Destiny - for it's clear that throughout the ages this stone has had almost divine attributes for both the people and their rulers - so when clan Niall claimed that they took their Stone with them to Scotland it would only be expected that the Irish kings would put in a counter claim that the original Stone was still in Ireland-

Just as the Scots did when Edward I (boo hiss) took the stone from Scone to Westminster. Who's right? Who knows!

If anyone has any other info on these two stones, such as their geological/geographical origins I'd love to hear about it.

Addendum

Above 'muirchertach' states that the name Scotland comes from the celtic word for incomer or raider. Personally, I prefer the legend that the name Scotland comes from the name of an Egyptian Pharoah's daughter... Scota... yes, the one who found Moses and married Niall....yes, he who was the legendary founder of the clan Niall. And if you want to stretch the legend even further the man who shares his name with the vast river that flows through Egypt.

And this brings us back to where the Stone of Destiny was acquired in the first place.
follow that cow Posted by follow that cow
13th January 2005ce
Edited 18th March 2005ce

Miscellaneous

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There seems to be some confusion between the Stone of Scone, the ancient Coromation Stone of Scotland, which was taken to Westminster by Edward I ("Longshanks" in the film "Braveheart"), and the Lia Fáil at Tara. The Lia Fáil is reputed to have been brought from the east by the Tuatha Dé Danaan, and was originally situated in front of "Dúmha na nGiall", or Mound of the Hostages. It was transplanted to its present location to mark the mass grave of the United Irish insurgents who fell at the battle of Tara on May 26th, 1798. It is said that as much of the ancient stone lies below ground as above it, making the whole edifice approximately eleven feet in length. Legend maintains that the stone would cry out when a rightful claimant to the kingship of Tara touched it, thereby verifying his ability to rule wisely. Posted by Aongus
8th October 2003ce

Links

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George Eastman House Archive


An old photo identified as the Lia Tail Stone by the famous Alvin Langdon Coburn. The photo shows the stone before it was set in concrete. Is it just me, or are there two possible cupmarks in this photo?

Like most of the photos in this collection, this one isn't dated. Thanks to FourWinds for identifying the site from the photo.
Kammer Posted by Kammer
23rd June 2004ce
Edited 23rd June 2004ce