Dumha Na nGiall

Ed Mooney Photography

Dumha Na nGiall (1)

The first noticeable structure within the Ráith Na Rig or Fort of the Kings is a Neolithic passage tomb known as ‘The Mound of the Hostages’, or to give it its correct Gaelic name ‘Dumha Na nGiall’. This is most likely the oldest structure at Tara and is believed to have been built sometime around 3000 B.C. This makes it over 5000 years old.  The name is actually quite misleading; this was most certainly not a burial site for prisoners. Considering its location right next to the Royal Seat, the people that were buried here, would have most likely been of significant importance. The truth is that the term ‘Mound of the Hostages’ was a later name given to this mound and derives from the ancient custom of the Ard Ri taking members of lesser kings families into his own to ensure their loyalty. Although they…

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