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King of Tara

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Title: King of Tara  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Lugh, Cairbre Nia Fer, Lóegaire mac Néill, Uí Néill, Cath Maige Mucrama, Diarmait mac Cerbaill, Iverni, Lugaid Riab nDerg, Lugaid, Mac Con
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

King of Tara

The term Kingship of Tara was a title of authority in ancient Ireland. The position was considered to be of eminent authority in medieval Irish literature and mythology, although national kingship was never a historical reality in early Ireland. The term also represented a prehistoric and mythical ideal of sacred kingship in Ireland. Holding the title King of Tara invested the incumbent with a powerful status. Many Irish High Kings were simultaneously Kings of Tara. The title emerged in the ninth and tenth centuries. In later times, actual claimants to this title used their position to promote themselves in status and fact to the High Kingship. Prior to this, various branches of the Uí Néill dynasty appear to have used it to denote overlordship of their kindred and realms.

The titles King of Tara and High King of Ireland were distinct and unrelated for much of history.

The following is a list of those accorded the title (or at least believed to be seated) in the Irish annals—the kings and legends. The dates and names of the early kings are uncertain and are often highly suspect. Several may be doubles of others, while composite characters may be entirely fictitious. Some may also be assigned to the wrong prehistoric kindred.

Legendary Kings of Tara


Late Prehistoric

Early Historic Kings of Tara

Later Kings of Tara

Baile Chuinn Chétchathaig

Baile In Scáil

Togail Bruidne Dá Derga

De Síl Chonairi Móir

See also




  • The Annals of Ulster -
  • The Annals of Inisfallen -
  • The Fragmentary Annals of Ireland -

External links

  • Map of Tara
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