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!

Sculpting the King: Brian Boru in the Chapel Royal

There is a secret passageway between the Dublin Castle's Chapel Royal and the State apartments.

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.

Keating and the King in Print (1723)

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

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.

The Brian Boru Harp

The Brian Boru harp was stolen for a short period in 1969.