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!

Keating and the King in Print (1723)

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

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'.

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: Emperor of the Irish

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

Weaponry: How to Kill your Enemy and Defend yourself in Viking-Age Ireland

Archery was introduced to Ireland by the Vikings, but never really became popular outside the Hiberno-Norse towns

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.