Thousand Years Since Ireland’s Battle of Clontarf

This month marks the one year anniversary of the birth of Roundwood Press online bookstore, and of this website.

Irish Sea shoreline – scene of this ancient battle


This month (Easter, specifically) also marks the thousand year anniversary of Ireland’s Battle of Clontarf, a fierce encounter along the shoreline of the Irish Sea.

The battle remains epic for two reasons. First, Chief Brian Boru united Ireland’s most powerful tribes for the fight. Second, Boru’s forces delivered victory by smashing the power of Viking invaders on the island.

Vikings plundered Irish monasteries and chapels, including Glendalough and Clonmacnoise


Events during this year’s anniversary will celebrate the grim gray day when longboats from as far away as Iceland beached the shoreline north of Dublin city, filled with warriors gripping battle axes and spears. A Hawaiian art collector will return a painting that depicts this fight to Ireland, while a concert tour through the island will celebrate the event.  Yes, the movie is being made, and even the Danes – Vikings of past eras – are keen to participate in these events.

What of the great chief whose reign instilled and sparked this mighty battle – Brian Boru? Ireland’s tourism board is promoting his story. I also include a chapter about Boru’s life, from childhood to Clontarf, in my book River of Ireland. And my book Leadership Lessons from an Irish Warrior is based on the life of Boru – an obscure leader whose bizarre and challenging vision for his era helped shape the fortunes of the Irish people.




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