- The native Irish population was in centuries of decline before the Vikings came along
- How to find out if you have Irish Viking ancestry
- Vikings in Ireland
From about , however, a new phase of large-scale attacks, involving the use of fleets of long-ships, began, and the Vikings penetrated deep inland through the use of rivers and lakes. Attracted by the wealth of the monasteries and churches, they plundered them steadily. In , the Danes wrested control of one of these settlements, the military and trading post of Dublin, from the Norwegians, under their king Olaf in Irish Amlaoimh , and founded the Danish kingdom of Dublin which was to last three hundred years, until the coming of the Anglo-Normans.
The native Irish population was in centuries of decline before the Vikings came along
For the next years, up to the middle of the tenth century, the Vikings consolidated and extended their power through unremitting aggression. From about on, however, the east Clare Gaelic sept of the Dal Cais began its rise to power, capturing first the Kingship of Munster from the Eoganachta and then, with Brian Boru, taking the high-kingship of Ireland from the Ui Neill in Brian fused the disparate Gaelic forces into a single confederate army, and defeated the combined might of the Norwegian and Danish forces in the battle of Clontarf on April 23 , breaking the power of the Vikings permanently.
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Although their political power declined rapidly after this, as a people the Vikings were soon thoroughly absorbed into the religious and political life of the country, adopting the Irish language and Irish customs, intermarrying and intermingling. To them also we owe all of the earliest towns in the country: Dublin, Wexford, Waterford, Cork and Limerick all began as Viking settlements, and, even after their absorption into the Gaelic culture, the commercial interests of the newcomers kept them centered in these areas.
How to find out if you have Irish Viking ancestry
The Vikings For at least years, up to the ninth century, the civilization of Ireland remained uniformly Celtic. The Danish culture minister, Brian Mikkelson, who was in Dublin to participate in celebrations marking the arrival of a replica Norse longboat, apologised for the invasion and destruction inflicted.
The Havhingsten Sea Stallion sailed more than 1, miles across the North Sea this summer with a crew of 65 men and women in what was described as a "living archaeological experiment". The reconstructed longboat was based on a ship found at the bottom of the Roskilde Fjord, south of Copenhagen.
The original vessel was believed to have been built in Dublin - then a Viking city - in and to have sunk 30 years later. The wreck was discovered in and tests on the timbers enabled archaeologists to trace the wood to trees from Glendalough, County Wicklow. The first Viking raiding parties arrived in Ireland in , targeting wealthy monasteries on outlying islands such as Rathlin, County Antrim and Inishmurray, County Sligo.
Vikings in Ireland
By , Vikings were over-wintering in fortified settlements such as Dublin, Wexford and Waterford and over the next two centuries these cities were gradually absorbed into local Irish kingdoms. The replica ship - built using tools of the era - is 30 metres long and the largest reconstructed longboat ever built.
Guile rather than brute strength was needed to ensure that the Sea Stallion completed its voyage from Roskilde to Dublin in time for the celebrations. The Vikings relied upon sail and rowing power.