There is a shed load of different beliefs and opinions regarding one of Ireland’s oldest and best known stones. This is the Coronation Stone for many of the ancient High Kings of Ireland. It is said that when touched by the rightful King of Ireland the stone would let out a mighty roar. So not only did the Lia Fáil have the magical qualities to proclaim a rightful king, but it was also said to have the ability to rejuvenate the king and ensure that he had a long reign. One legend tells of the heroic CúChulainn whom in a fit of rage cut the Lia Fáil in half with his sword when it did not roar for Lugaid Riab nDerg. After this the stone never roared again with the exception of Conn Cétchathach.
Today it rest’s atop An Forradh (the Kings Seat) or Inauguration Mound within the Royal Enclosure at Tara. But was not always its home. The Lia Fáil is believed to have once stood near the Mound of the Hostages until 1798, when it was moved to the Inauguration Mound to mark the grave of approx. 400 United Irishmen whom were buried their following a terrible defeat by English forces during the Rebellion of 1798. So where did the legendary Lia Fáil come from? The main belief comes from the Mythology of Ireland concerning the Tuatha Dé Danann. From the 11th century text the Lebor Gabála Na Érenn which tells of the arrival of the Tuatha Dé Danann whom brought with them four ancient treasures from their homeland. The Lia Fáil was said to have come from the city of Falias and was placed at Tara to crown every High King from this time on.
Another account tells that this was the pillow of Jacob. Obviously a Christian influenced association into Ireland’s ancient past. The other main belief is that the Lia Fáil was loaned out by Muirchertach mac Ercae to his relative Fergus the Great for his ascension to the throne of Scotland circa 500A.D. And this is where the Lia Fáil becomes the Stone of Scone or the Stone of Destiny as it is known today. Well Edward 1 took this away and it is said to now reside under the English Coronation chair in Westminster. To be quite honest I seriously doubt that the Stone of Scone is the Lia Fáil or that it even left Ireland. Not one of the Tuatha Dé Danann’s four treasures have ever been found, so why would they have left behind such an important artefact when they retreated after their defeat by the Milesians? My guess is that the Lia Fáil never left Ireland of Tara for that matter. The stone that was taken from near the Mound of the Hostages could have been one of many standing stones that once stood on Tara. And it is my belief that the stone now known as the Lia Fáil is an imposter. Perhaps the true Lia Fáil still lies somewhere beneath Tara, waiting for Irelands next High King to return.