The Battle of Clontarf

One of the bloodiest and most decisive battles in Irish history took place a thousand years ago this month.

'Battle of Clontarf' by Hugh Frazer, 1826. This painting has returned to Ireland in time for Clontarf 2014. Kildare Partners, DublinClontarf is now an affluent suburb north of Dublin, but a thousand years ago it was the setting for an unprecedented event in Ireland’s history. Good Friday 1014 saw the Battle of Clontarf, an all-day affair of infernal carnage, where longstanding animosities climaxed in a spectacular deluge of bloodshed.

To commemorate the anniversary, the Clontarf community is hosting a slew of diverse events that range from historical society lectures to a rugby match between Clontarf and the Barbarians FC. According to the website there will also be an interactive history display where visitors can see if they are mighty enough to wear the armour and carry the weapons of the 1014 combatants. There are walking tours that explore the old Viking Dublin as well as Brian Boru Millennium Celebration tours that take visitors to the very site where, by most accounts, the old leader was slain.

To read this article in full you need to be either a print + archive subscriber, or else have purchased access to the online archive.

If you are already a subscriber, please ensure you are logged in. 

Buy Subscription | Buy Online Access | Log In

If you are logged in and still cannot read the article, please email

Get Miscellanies, our free weekly long read, in your inbox every week