12Harbison, Peter. "An Architectural Enigma." Irish Arts Review 23.3 (2006): 100-01.
The author writes, "Comparisons with other Kerry stone forts indicate the likelihood that there would have been no more than two or three houses inside Staigue originally, accommodating scarcely enough people to necessitate the building of the ten sets of steps." However NUI-Galway archaeologist Michelle Comber writes, "The stairs clearly reflect a need or desire for easy access to the top of the enclosing cashel wall. This is common at all large stone cashels along the western seaboard of Ireland. Accessing the wall-top may relate to defence and/or communications. The wall terraces would also have allowed the viewing of activities within the enclosure, if such occurred. A high-status settlement, like Staigue, would have been concerned with all of these – defence, control of communications, and social/political events that may have taken place within the cashel on occasion" (email, February 14, 2012)