The battle of Clontarf, over 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.

This website was developed in 2014 for the millennial anniversary of the battle.

Explore the hidden history of Clontarf!

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.

Sitric Silkenbeard: Hiberno-Norse King of Dublin

One of the earliest surviving coins from Dublin is engraved with Sitric's name and his title as 'King of Dublin'.

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.

Sláine, Daughter of Brian: ''It appears to me,’ said she, ‘that the foreigners have gained their inheritance''

Women in early medieval Ireland were married and divorced for political reasons; therefore most likely maintained loyalty to their natal kin.

Keating and the King in Print (1723)

Brian Boru was one of the first medieval Irish kings to be represented in print.

Sigurðr: The Viking Earl of Orkney

The Orkneyinga Saga fortold that the raven banner would bring life to those who fought beneath it, but death to him who bore it.