Tara (târˈə) [key], village, Co. Meath, E Republic of Ireland. The Hill of Tara (507 ft/155 m high) was the seat of the high kings of Ireland from ancient times until the 6th cent. and may have been the site of religious ceremonies in prehistoric times. A statue of St. Patrick, who preached there, is supposed to mark the location of the Lia Fail, the Coronation Stone of the ancient high kings (see under coronation). There are six raths (earthwork enclosures), the largest of which is 850 ft (259 m) in diameter. The hill was the scene of the defeat of the Danes in 980 and, some believe, the Irish insurgents in 1798, and of a mass meeting in 1843 addressed by Daniel O'Connell; hence its importance as a symbol of Irish nationalism.
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