Báetán (d. 572), son of Muirchertach and putatively king of Tara, belonged to the Cenél nÉogain dynasty. The genealogies represent him as a son of Muirchertach/Mac Ercae (qv) and as a brother of Domnall and Forggus, who are included in the Middle Irish list of kings of Tara. Báetán's immediate predecessor as paramount king of the Uí Néill, however, was said to have been Ainmere (qv) son of Sétnae of the Cenél Conaill. It is probably significant that Báetán does not feature in the Old Irish king-list ‘Baile Chuinn’. Later sources assign a joint reign of two (or three) years to Báetán and his nephew, Eochaid son of Domnall.
It seems that the later sixth century was a period of considerable confusion, when the dynastic confederation of the Uí Néill was taking shape and was contesting the kingship of Tara with other dynasties, the claims of Ulaid king Báetán (qv) son of Cairell being particularly difficult to ignore. This protracted struggle to establish their ascendancy was later masked by retrospectively styling as kings of Tara early dynasts of the Northern Uí Néill, such as Báetán son of Muirchertach who may, in reality, have been rulers of lesser stature. The only ‘fact’ to emerge in regard to Báetán's reign is his death in battle, along with Eochaid son of Domnall, at the hands of Crónán son of Tigernach, king of Cianachta, in 572. The slaying of the two is alluded to by Adomnán (qv) in his ‘Vita Columbae’ (i, §12). Báetán had five (or six) sons, the most distinguished of whom were Máel-umai, who fought at Degsastan on the side of Áedán (qv) son of Gabrán in 603, and Colmán Rímid (qv), who is credited with a later reign as king of Tara. According to the regnal lists, Báetán's immediate successor was Báetán (qv) son of Ninnid of Cenél Conaill.