Gardai investigating after ancient Hill of Tara stone vandalised

Gardai are investigating after graffiti was daubed on the ancient Lia Fail stone on the Hill of Tara earlier this week.

Locals walking the site were appalled to discover the words 'Fake' written on all sides of the 'Stone of Destiny' or 'Speaking Stone' which is believed to be over 5,000 years old.

The incident took place sometime between Monday evening and Tuesday morning. Spray paint was used to damage the stone, said to be a coronation stone for the High Kings of Ireland.

Gardaí in Navan have opened an investigation and are appealing for information. A spokesman said the stone was sprayed with graffiti sometime between Monday evening and Tuesday morning.

The Lia Fail is located at the centre of the historical site on the Inauguration mound on the Hill of Tara.

It's not the first time the stone has been the target for vandalism; in 2012 someone took to it with a hammer while in 2014, paint was thrown over it.

Cllr Nick Killian, Cathaoirleach of Meath County Council, said the “desecration of the sacred site” was unacceptable.

“It’s a magical place ... Whoever did it, shame on them.”

Cllr Killian described the attack as "a mindless act of vandalism", on "one of our most important and significant sites, not just in Meath but in the country".

"The Hill of Tara is a very special place and visitors and locals alike experience it every day of the week. And it's a wonderful place. It's state owned and it's managed by the OPW. The Gardai are obviously investigating and we would appeal to anybody who was maybe on the Hill on Monday evening - it was very busy on Tara all day Monday because it was a good day - to contact the Gardai if they know anything."

Cllr Killian acknowledged the damage caused by acts of vandalism in 2012 and 2014 and praised the OPW who carried out repair works at the time. "The OPW are very good at doing this sort of work and hopefully they'll get it back to where it was."