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.

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.

Keating and the King in Print (1723)

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

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.

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.