"Cernait, Grainne, Cormac, Fionn, t'was here they loved and lost and won. Their secrets lie 'neath Tara's soil, known only to the Lia Fail" Song of Tara.
On most of the MV ratings this hill fails miserably! It scores zero in terms of challenge and wilderness, it can't be linked with another hill and there is quiet a bit of walker damage. Unless you have the clearest of days, when you can see the Cooley and Mourne ranges, the view is quiet uninspiring and as you approach it you will barely notice that it is a hill. Yet having said this, it is one that we should all visit!
This is the most sacred of Irish hills with several ancient monuments dating back long before Christianity, some of them 6,000 years old. A full list of all the hills features can be found elsewhere online, with many of them listed in the description at the top. I would personally suggest reading up on Cormac Mac Airt (a good Meath name to this day), the mound of the hostages and also on the Lia Fail before heading out on to the hill, but I leave all this to yourself. Youtube is cluttered up with rubbish from the M3 protesters, but in amongst this is a nice short video from renowned Tara author Michael Slavin which gives a nice introduction to the hill and some of the events that it has seen. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDN7yEc0JXo#t=105
From the entrance gate it is all of 300 metres to the top of mound of the hostages at A (N92010 59720)
which is the highest part of the hill. From November 2011 until recently this monument was under repair and non accessible, thankfully the restrictions have now been lifted. If you visit between June and September you can check out the excellent video presentation in the visitor centre before heading off to explore the hill (highly recommended). After seeing this video I would recommend starting your explorations from the foot of the banqueting hall (if you watch the video you will see why). Site is maintained by the OPW, car park, coffee shop and toilets all on site. In Sean Boylan's days at the helm of the county team you could have found masses of marauding Meath men trampling over this hill in the dark, but you might just be safe enough to venture out these days! Linkback: mountainviews.ie/summit/1059/comment/15772/