BRIAN BORÚ MILLENNIUM WEEKEND

BRIAN BORÚ MILLENNIUM WEEKEND

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Ireland will be celebrating all that is Brian Ború this year. It has been 1000 years since the famous High King was killed in Battle defending Ireland. Well we think he was defending Ireland. To mark this rather grisly war, many events will be held across the country this year.

If you are willing to grab your sword and fight back the crowds, there will be a re-enactments of the stages of Brian Ború’s life across the country. This should be visually spectacular if somewhat swarming with nostalgic Irish people.

For those of you who have erased your school textbooks from your brain, our man Brian Boru was an Irish King. His Munstermen and Connaght clansmen were fighting against Mael Mórdá’s army from Leinster and his Viking allies.

The battle lasted all day but ended with the defeat of Mael Mórdá’s army and his Leinster and Viking allies. Although Brian Boru won the battle he was killed by a Viking Jarl named Brodir from the Isle of Man. The majority of leaders from both sides were killed on the battlefield but Sitric the Viking King of Dublin had not fought and he lived on and continued to rule Dublin.

After the battle, the Vikings of Dublin continued to work, live and trade with the Irish but they were never as powerful again with power in Ireland shifting back into the hands of the Irish Kings. And we are quite sure that we have Brian’s angry call to battle to thank for this.

Interpretations of the significance of the battle have changed over time. An early view of the battle saw Brian Boru as a great Irish hero who saved Ireland from the Viking Invaders. But other interpretations have seen the battle as a primarily Irish power struggle for control of the City of Dublin. It is thought that the defeat of Viking Dublin in the battle ultimately helped to avert a major new Viking offensive in Ireland.

And let’s face it Dublin is totally worth fighting for.

 

To celebrate all of this gory war stuff, the whopper event on the 19/20th April will be a re-enactment of the Battle Of Clontarf. It will be the largest Viking village and living history battle re-enactment ever produced in Ireland. It will take place in St Anne’s Park Raheny, Dublin. The Viking village will contain displays of Viking life and include demonstrations of Viking skills and crafts such as weapons displays, storytelling, blacksmithing, leather working, pole lathing, coin striking, silversmithing, hnefatafl (Viking chess), archery displays and Viking long boats, and falconry displays.

But the action isn’t all in the big smoke. Several towns have come together to celebrate the Life of Mr Boru, calling it the The Brian Boru Trail. It links the towns of Ballina/Killaloe as the seat of Brian Boru’s rule as High King of Ireland. Included is Cashel, where Brian was crowned High King of Ireland, and Armagh where Brian was buried.

So if you didn’t want to brave the crowds in Dublin, you could try somewhere a little less populated, like Killaloe in Co Clare on April 11-13th. Battle re-enactments, Viking boat tours on the River Shannon, theatre, walking tours and music will bring the town’s medieval heritage and links to Brian Ború to life during the festival. On the 11th April, re-enactors depicting Brian Ború and key characters from the time await the arrival of their Viking allies by longboat to Ballina Quay on the shores of Lough Derg.

For a full schedule of events, including ticketing and times, visit here.

 

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