My knowledge of Tara was some vague ideas of High Kings and battles and St Patrick.
I came early to the Hill of Tara on a sunny late-summer morning, my only company a solitary runner, glistening dew-wet grass, some raucous crows and distant, muffled traffic on the M3. I was keen to experience the place before the inevitable tour buses and forecasted rain arrived. While I’ve wandered most of the Irish hills, I’m embarrassed to admit that this was my first visit to the most iconic and historic “Hill” of them all.....
...I crisscrossed the site and its often slippery slopes over two hours, seeing it fill up with groups and guides and dog walkers and even family runners. I listened in to the efforts of guides atop the “Forrad” struggling to convey a snapshot of Irish history and the subtleties of Tara down through the ages to non-European visitors; I visited the Síle na Gigh in St Patrick’s churchyard and called into the Visitor Centre, went for coffee and a scone in the adjacent Maguires of Tara.
And I wondered why I had never before engaged up close with the story of this truly awe-inspiring and evocative place.