The battle of Clontarf, a thousand years ago, was the culmination of Brian Boru's long-fought campaign for political control of Ireland. His successes permanently broke the Uí Néill dominance of the high-kingship and catapulted his small dynasty, the Dál Cais, onto the national stage.

Begin the adventure: explore Brian's rise to power, life in Viking-Age Ireland and how both Brian and the battle have been transformed from historical figures into Irish legends.

Explore the hidden history of Clontarf!

Describing the Battle: Keating's 'Foras Feasa ar Éirinn' (1643)

The 18th century historian O’Sullevane claimed that Keating was banished by the lover of a woman who he castigated in a sermon on morality.

Brian Boru: Emperor of the Irish

The first name Brian is of Breton origin and was not common in Ireland before Brian Boru.

The Story of Máel Sechnaill mac Domnaill: Brian's Challenge to Uí Neill Dominance

When Máel Sechnaill first took over as king of Dublin he freed all of the slaves currently residing in the town.

Brian Boru as the Model Irish King: Lament for Brian O'Neill

Late medieval bardic poets were highly paid: they might recieve a horse or a suit of armour for their work.

Máel Mórda mac Murchada: War over a Slight at a Chess Game?

In the medieval period Yew trees were associated with sacred sites and thus the laws of sanctuary were extended to them.

Diet: What Did People Eat in Viking-Age Ireland?

At important feasts a person's status determined the part of the animal they were entitled to eat.