On Good Friday, April 23, 1014 just north of Dublin a momentous and bloody battle was fought. At stake was the nascent unification of the island under its first true king, Brian Boru; and the future influence of the Vikings, who had settled and meddled in Ireland for nearly two centuries. The battle that resulted changed the course of Irish history forever!
The Vikings first began raiding Ireland in the late 8th century. As throughout western Europe, longships crammed with veteran warriors bent on rapine and plunder descended on the coastal settlements and raided deep into the countryside, bringing death and destruction to the unwary inhabitants.
These Vikings were perhaps the first iron-clad, mailed warriors the Irish had ever encountered: the defending Gaelic warriors “had nothing to defend their bodies… save only elegant tunics, shields, and finely wrought collars”; who fought as light infantry in loose-formation. By contrast, the Vikings…
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