14Newman, Conor. "Composing Tara, the Grand Opera of Irish Pre-History." Eolas: The Journal of the American Society of Irish Medieval Studies, vol. 3, 2009, p. 13.

This is more fully explained by John Waddell: "This exceptional account was clearly compiled from a quite detailed topographical scrutiny of the monuments visible on the hill at the time and following a route from south to north. As an antiquarian exercise by some medieval scholars, it was not, however, a wholly disinterested and objective operation; it had a very particular purpose. From at least the fifth century the kingship of Tara had been contested by rival dynastic groups from Leinster, Ulster (the Ulaid), the north-west (the northern Ui Neill) and the midlands (the southern Ui Neill). It was in the ninth century, however, that Maelsechlainn Mac Maile Ruanaid, who died in 862, expanded southern Ui Neill power and control sufficiently to give weight to the long-standing claim that kings of Tara were kings of Ireland. Indeed his son, Flann Sinna, is described as Rig Erenn, 'king of Ireland,' in an inscription on the Cross of the Scriptures at Clonmacnoise. The Dindshenschas texts on Tara were compiled for a political reason to enhance the claims of the southern Ui Neill, and of Maelsechlainn Mac Domhnaill (king of Tara who died in 1022) in particular...It is interesting to see that within a century or two of the compilers of the Tara survey attributing various monuments there to ancestors of the Ui Neill and effectively inscribing their own legitimacy in the physical record of the past, Gerald of Wales, in his twelfth-century Topography of Ireland, anxious to present a precedence for Anglo-Norman occupation, was crediting earthworks such as ringforts to invading Danes." (Waddell, John. Foundation Myths: The Beginnings of Irish Archaeology. Bray, Co. Wicklow: Wordwell, 2005, pp. 15-19.)