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THE VIKINGS IN KILDARE

 
THE VIKINGS IN KILDARE
James Durney
 
In this essay I aim to show the influence the Vikings had on County Kildare from the first raids in 836 to the end of Viking power with their defeat at the Battle of Clontarf in 1014.
 
Background.
 
The Vikings were Scandinavian warriors and traders who went on naval raiding expeditions to the British Isles and other parts of Europe. (The word “Viking” means to go on a voyage. English analysts coined the word as they thought the raiders came from Vik, a southern port.) The main theory why the Vikings left their native shores was population increase and the scarcity of land and food. With its abundance of forestry wood was plentiful and the Vikings, heavily influenced by Roman shipbuilding, built shallow bottomed boats for river trading. Figurines and dragonheads were carved on the boats by the most affluent. The first groups of Vikings were just small bands of families. As they brought back tales of great wealth and plunder the size of the groups increased. Vikings first colonised Iceland (860), and then discovered Greenland (930) - they called it Greenland to entice more settlers to go there - and went further west to Newfoundland (Vinland) in 986. They went as far east in Europe as Kiev in Russia. In the Middle East they went as far south as Constantinople and Persia. The Vikings arrived in Ireland, which they called Eireland, in a raid on Rathlin Island in 795.
 
 In Ireland the Vikings were known as Lochlannaigh (Men of the Land of Loughs) or, inaccurately, “Danes”, because Ireland’s raiders were mainly from Norway.1 Raids on Britain and Ireland, and the coasts of France and Spain, were the work of Vikings from Norway and Denmark, while Swedish Vikings set out across the Baltic Sea into Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Russia. The Norsemen sailed in fifty-foot long oak boats, which were able to navigate shallow water as well as rough seas. They were equipped with advanced iron weaponry and armour, which made them a formidable foe. The Annals of the Four Masters described the Vikings as “merciless, soure and hardie, from their very cradles dissentious”.2 The Vikings were not just pirates and warriors but also traders and colonists.3 However, the first Vikings who arrived in Ireland were in the pursuit of loot and adventure. Gold and silver treasures accumulated by the great monasteries could be converted into personal wealth, and captives could be sold as slaves. Wealth, of course, meant power. Attacks on Irish monasteries were common before the Viking Age and the burning of churches was an integral part of Irish warfare. Wars and battles between monasteries also occurred in Ireland before the coming of the Vikings. Irish monasteries had become wealthy and politically important with considerable populations. (Kildare had many far-flung properties.) The Vikings attacked the monasteries because they were rich in land, stock and provisions and had valuable gold and silver objects.4 Decorative mounts from church plates like the Ardagh Chalice could be removed and made into brooches, while the rest of the chalice could be melted down and the silver re-used. The Vikings were pagans and unfamiliar with religion, so did not differentiate between monasteries and castles.
 
The Vikings in Kildare.
 
The first recorded raid by the Vikings in Ireland was on Rathlin Island off the coast of Antrim in 795 where the church was burned. These Vikings came exclusively from Norway. On the west coast the monasteries on Inismurray and Inisbofin were plundered - possibly by the same raiders. The Scottish island of Iona was also attacked in the same year. The Vikings returned in 798 with a raid on St. Patrick’s Island, off the coast of Dublin. For the next few years small groups of Vikings continued hit and run attacks on coastal targets until 811-13 when the mainland was attacked by a single small fleet, possibly based in the Hebrides. These surprise attacks were difficult to defend but the Vikings were sometimes defeated. In 811 the Ulaid slaughtered a raiding party and the following year raiding parties were defeated by the men of Umall and the king of Eóganacht Locha Léin. By 823 the Vikings had raided all around the coast and in 824 the island monastery of Sceilg, off the Kerry coast, was attacked. From 830 Viking raids became more intensive and the monastic city of Armagh was attacked three times in 832. By now the Vikings had permanent posts in the Hebrides and thus sources of intelligence about political developments in Ireland.5
 
Ireland at the time was well populated. Its inhabitants were literate and Christian with a complex political system. However, it was not a unified country, but one of many fiefdoms, kingships and alliances, thus easy prey to invaders. In 836 a fleet of thirty Norse ships appeared on the Liffey and another fleet of similar size on the Boyne. They plundered every church and abbey within the territories of Magh Liffe and Magh Breagh. In Kildare “half the church was plundered by them” and the Vikings also destroyed the town “with fire and sword and carried off the shrines of St. Brigid and St. Conleth”.6 Kildare is one of the oldest towns in Ireland and had developed urban characteristics long before the Vikings came to Ireland. It originated as a shrine to the Celtic Goddess Brigid in pre-Christian times. It later became the great Christian foundation of St. Brigid. The town’s Irish name, Cill Dara, means “Church (or monastery) of the oak tree.” The monastery in question was founded in 490 by St. Brigid, a pagan convert to Christianity.7 Monastic Kildare was the Leinster royal capital, its abbots and abbesses of the royal dynasty or of the great Leinster aristocratic families.8 (Round towers built to protect monks and their treasures from marauders came into their own in the Viking age. In Kildare town can be found a typical example of round tower and church.) At that time the main towns of County Kildare were Naas and Kildare. Naas, or Nás Na Ríogh, “The meeting place of the Kings,” was the centre of the kings of Leinster who governed from a castle on the large North Moat in the town. After the Connacht dynasty had conquered a great part of North Leinster, including Tara, and established the new kingdom of Meath and the high-kingship, the kings of North Leinster, drawn from Uí Faoláin and Uí Mirí – were forced to retire from Tara and take up residence in Naas. They were still recognised as provincial kings until the tenth century though their power and influence were weakened from the sixth century onwards.9 Other important centres were Clane, Castledermot, Kilcullen, Carbury, Allen, the Curragh, Old Connell, Kill, Monasterevin, Moone, and Mullaghmast.
 
Contemporary Irish annals as well as later Irish text constitute rich, though at times confusing sources of information about Norse activity in the Irish Sea area. Permanent Viking settlements and bases were established on the coast of Ireland in the late 830s, the most important of which was Dublin and they used these bases for attacks on the south and west. The Vikings wintered for the first time at Dublin in 841-2 and established a “ship-port”, or longphort, there. In 849 another large fleet arrived, this time Danes from England and the Continent. These Danes intervened in the Irish-Norwegian conflicts of the 840s and took control of Dublin from the Norwegians. To the Irish they were known as Dubgaill – black foreigners.10 Dublin became the principal permanent base of the Vikings in Ireland, comparable with Kiev on the Dneiper.11 Kildare’s proximity to Dublin meant it suffered more from Viking raids than other counties. Raiding Vikings from Waterford came up the Barrow River into the settlement at Athy and pillaged South Kildare. In 844 Dunamase was attacked and destroyed by the Danes where they killed Kehernagh, the old abbot of Kildare.12 Dublin Vikings made a dúnad (temporary camp) at Clúain Andobair. This is Cloney in the barony of Narragh and Reban West, just east of the Barrow River. A longphort was situated across the Barrow from this site.13
 
Widespread Viking plundering caused consternation in many parts of Ireland and may have been a topic for discussion at the “national” conference held at Cloncurry, Co. Kildare, between the Éoanacht king of Munster and the Cenél nÉogain king of Ailech in 838.14 No unified response was forthcoming, but from then on Irish kings began to fiercely fight back against the Vikings. Because they now had fixed settlements or fortified positions they were vulnerable to attack. Máel Seachnaill (Malachy) routed a Viking force near Skreen, Co. Meath and killed 700 of them. Irish raids on Viking settlements were as numerous as raids by the Norse. The Vikings were now a factor in the internal politics of Ireland and Norse-Irish alliances became commonplace. In 853 Olaf the White arrived in Dublin and with Ivar, another Viking, assumed sovereignty of the settlement there.15 In 861 Dublin Vikings killed Muiregan, son of Diarmaid, the Lord of Naas. He was the Ua Fáeláin king of Naas and of the eastern part of the Liffey plain. He was killed by Vikings, perhaps from Dublin, his rivals for territorial control.16 In 883 Dublin Danes sacked Kildare town, and its religious houses, and took away the abbot and 280 of his clergy and family. From 887-9 there were further Danish raids on Kildare.17 When the Vikings defeated Flann mac Maíl Shechnaill in 888, the bishop of Kildare, Lerghus, and the abbot of Kildalkey were amongst the slain.18
 
In 902 the kings of Brega and Leinster combined against the Norse of Dublin and defeated them, destroyed their settlement and expelled them from Ireland. By this time extensive cultural assimilation had taken place between the Irish and the Norse. Olaf, king of Dublin in the middle of the ninth century, was married to the daughter of Áed Finnliath, king of the northern Uí Néill. The Hiberno-Norse also had gradually become christianised.19 Irish rule was then vested in two great dynasties. Because the northern Uí Néill ruled from Tara and the southern Eóghanachta from Cashel, control of Leinster became necessary for anyone aspiring to outright rule of Ireland. One bishop-king of Munster, Cormac Mac Cuilenáin crossed the border of Ui Néill territory at Monasterevin in 908 and claimed jurisdiction over Ros Glas monastery. This caused the battle of Ballaghmoon, on the Carlow border, where kings of Tara, Leinster and Connaught combined to rout the allied armies of Munster and Ossory. The troops involved were numerous, and the slaughter was immense. This was a battle of major significance. The instigator, Cormac, was killed in the battle and buried at Castledermot.20
 
As the tenth century dawned opportunities for Vikings in Britain and Europe were limited so they chose to attack Ireland again. From 914 large Norse fleets again began to attack Ireland, these Vikings came from those already settled elsewhere in Britain. Munster was ravaged widely in 915 and the king of Tara was defeated when he went to the aid of the Munstermen. In 916 the convenient monastery at Kildare was raided to replenish supplies.21 The king of Leinster was killed at Leixlip in the Battle of Confey with Vikings under the leadership of Sitric in 915. Under the leadership of Sitric the Vikings had proceeded to occupy neighbouring territory by sailing up the Liffey “as far as the salmon swims up the stream”, that is to Leixlip. According to the Annals of the Four Masters, a battle took place at Ceann-Fuait, or Confey, in 915. The Leinstermen were defeated by the Vikings with a loss of 600 men, including the King of Leinster, Ugaire mac Ailell. In this way the village of Leixlip on the Sylvain banks of the River Liffey became the most westerly part of the Viking Kingdom of Dublin, which extended from Skerries on the north to Arklow on the south. The name Leixlip is of Scandanavian origin derived from the old Norse for “Salmon Leap” - “Lax-hlaup”.22  
 
In 919 the king of Tara was killed in a combined Irish attack on the Norse of Dublin. For the next two decades the Norse kings of Dublin were also trying to establish their power in York. Their activities in Ireland gradually became more confined to Dublin and its immediate hinterland. The Irish began to counter attack with growing success. Dublin was burned by the king of Tara in 936 and was sacked in 944. Its power had declined considerably by the second half of the tenth century.23 These new wave of attacks sought initially to re-establish the old Viking dominions in Dublin and York, but the Norsemen were faced with ever increasing resistance by Irish kings until by the 940s “the political and military importance of Dublin … declined greatly”.24 The Dublin Norsemen continued to invade, plundering most of County Kildare in 916, occupying towns and giving them the configuration of those they had seen in northern Europe. Despite being the capital of Leinster Kildare was plundered no less than fifteen times by the Vikings between 836 and 1000:
 
921. Kildare was ransacked by the son of Gothfrith, or Godfrey, of Waterford and again by the Norse of Dublin the same year. Gothfrith was a brother – some reports say a cousin - of Sitric. 25
926. Kildare plundered by Blacaire, son of Godfrey, who carried away captives and great spoils.26
929. Godfrey plunders Kildare on St. Brigid’s Day.27
938. Monastic site at Kilcullen plundered by Amhlaibh, son of Godfrey, who carried “off ten hundred prisoners”. Kilcullen was plundered again the following year.28 
942. Kildare plundered by Blacaire and Dublin Norse.29
945. Kilcullen plundered by Olaf Cúarán.30
958. Kildare town almost completely destroyed by the Norse of Dublin and the greatest part of the inhabitants made slaves. A “great many prisoners taken but Niall Ua h-Eruilbh ransomed them”. (Yet notwithstanding these frequent losses, the Collegiate School of Kildare continued and professors constantly resided there.) 31
992. Kildare destroyed and plundered by the Norse of Dublin.32
998. Dublin Norse plundered Kildare.33
 
However, despite these raids the Irish led frequently concerted and well-organised campaigns against the Vikings, who were never allowed the opportunity to conquer large areas of Ireland. During the ninth and tenth centuries Irish society became more militarised, largely as a response to the Viking attacks. The small tribal kings were rapidly being reduced to the status of districts within powerful overlordships.34 In 944, in spite of being more firmly entrenched, the Dublin Vikings were overwhelmed by the superior forces of the new king of Leinster and the new king of Tara. King Blacair was dethroned and replaced by Olaf Cúarán, (Amhlaeibh) a king of the York Danes who had converted to Christianity and was therefore more acceptable to the Irish. Immediately after his accession to the kingship of Dublin Olaf formed a temporary alliance with the king of Brega. Once again a newly established king of Dublin replenished supplies in the customary Viking manner, by plundering the wealthiest accessible monasteries, including Kilcullen, where it was noted that the war-leader was explicitly Olaf Cúarán. He was also involved in the killing of, in 965, Muireadhach, son of Faelan, Abbot of Kildare, and royal heir of Leinster. The Annals of the Four Masters note “he was slain by Amhlaeibh, lord of the foreigners, and by Cearbhall, son of Lorcan”.35 
 
With the political unification of England under King Eadred, the old game was up for the Dublin Vikings. There would be less and less raiding as the Norse built up Dublin to be an economic environment.36 Apart from an unsuccessful siege by the king of Tara Domhnall Uí Néill for a whole generation Dublin was left alone and enjoyed an unprecedented degree of political stability. When the High King Domhnall died in 980, the Uí Néill nominated Malachy the Great of Meath as king. But he was facing the challenge of Brian Ború, an ambitious Munsterman who was already subduing small uprisings in Leinster and preventing the spread of Norse influence. Olaf “The Sandal” Cúarán - so named because he liked Irish-style footwear - had been the Viking ruler of Dublin for over forty years, but as an old man he married Gormflaith, the daughter of Murchadha MacFinn, Lord of Naas, a member of the Uí Fháeláin, a powerful dynasty based at Naas.37 Gormflaith was born in Naas around 940, and according to Njals Saga was “endowed with great beauty”.38 The union bore a son, Sitric. The old instincts were still present in Dublin and Sitric and his grandfather Murchadha, king of Leinster, joined forces for a raid on Kells. In 978 the Dublin Vikings defeated and killed the king of a different Leinster royal sept, the Uí Muiredaig, at the battle of Belan, near Athy, several miles south of the royal seat at Mullaghmast.39(The last King of Naas to be recognised as King of Leinster was Cearbhall who died in 989.)  
 
Gormflaith followed her union with Olaf with marriages to Malachy of Tara and Brian Ború, all three of which marriages are remarked upon in a witty stanza preserved in the genealogies:
 
Three leaps were made by Gormflaith
Which no other woman will make until Doomsday;
A leap into Dublin, a leap into Tara,
A leap into Cashel, a plain of mounds which surpasses all.40
 
In 980 Olaf was defeated by Malachy II at Tara and the old Viking went to Iona on pilgrimage, where he died. Malachy occupied Dublin but allowed Sitric to remain as its ruler in return for paying considerable tribute. In a strategic move, Malachy married Gormflaith. When Murchadha was killed his son, Mael Mordha, succeeded him as Lord of Naas. With his sister Gormflaith as virtual queen of Dublin Mael Mordha had his eyes on the kingship of Leinster. In 999 Sitric attacked Kildare town and ravaged it. At the same time Mael Mordha became king of Leinster and offered his kingdom and resources to Sitric. Brian Ború and Malachy put aside their differences and united to fight the common foe. Their combined forces took on the Leinster army at Gleann Máma in the Kill-Rathcoole area where Malachy and Brian were victorious. (Gleann Máma. The Glenn of the Pass is believed to be between Kildare’s Newcastle-Lyons-Oughterard ridges and those of Saggart, Co. Dublin. Other historians put the site of the battle near Dunlavin, in Co. Wicklow.) 41 There were heavy casualties on both sides, Brian’s opponents losing 4,000 men.
 
At the conclusion of this battle Brian’s son Murchadha discovered Mael Mordha high up in a yew tree, hiding from his enemies. Brian spared him, although he was held prisoner until Ború received the required number of hostages from the Leinstermen. When he was released Mael Mordha submitted to Ború and paid the required annual tribute. Brian followed up his victory by plundering Dublin. To negotiate peace, Brian married one of his daughters to Sitric, who submitted to him and he took Gormflaith as his wife. She was estranged from Malachy at the time and under the liberal Brehon Laws Brian was able to marry her.42 Gormflaith bore him a son, Donnchad, but she “was utterly wicked” and was later divorced by Brian.43 She began engineering opposition to the High King.
 
Brian Ború did not feel he could be high king of Ireland until he took Dublin and defeated Malachy of Tara. Dublin and North Leinster had remained a stumbling block in Boru’s attempts to unite the whole of Ireland under one king, a High King. Ború had come out of nowhere. Born around 941 in the region of Thomond (now County Clare) Brian’s mother was killed when he was a child by marauding Vikings. His dynasty was the Dál Cais (eventually they became O’Brien, sons of Brian) of Munster, who occupied a territory straddling the river Shannon. An important influence upon the Dalcassians was the presence of the Hiberno-Norse city of Limerick and they frequently raided each other’s territories. After Brian’s brother and proclaimed king of Munster, Mathgamain, was murdered at a peace meeting with the Limerick Vikings, he quickly sought revenge defeating the Vikings and their Munster allies. Once he established his rule over Munster Brian turned his attention to the provinces of Connaught and Leinster and for the next fifteen years the Munstermen and Leinstermen fought several bloody battles on both land and water. (Brian had learned a lot from the Vikings and used naval forces for river and coastline attacks on Leinster. The Limerick Vikings also supplied men and longboats for Brian’s campaigns.) Ború’s main rival in Leinster was Malachy who as a member of the southern Ui Néill, always the strongest kings of Ireland, also claimed the kingship. Ború became High King in 1002 but it was high king in name only until both Malachy and Viking Dublin were entirely subdued.
 
In 1012 and 1013 the Danes again attacked and pillaged Kildare. Malachy, who had grudgingly accepted Brian’s high kingship rose in revolt. He sought allies in Ulster and Connaught but only found one regional ruler in Ulster who had only recently submitted to Brian. Together they attacked Meath, and Brian led a force from Munster and from southern Connaught into Leinster in defence. A detachment under his son, Murchadh, ravaged the southern half of Leinster for three months. The forces under Murchadh and Brian were reunited on 9 September 1013 outside the walls of Dublin. The city was blockaded, but it was the Ború’s army that ran out of supplies first. He was forced to abandon the siege and returned to Munster around Christmas. Malachy needed allies quickly for Borúwas sure to return again with a bigger army. He instructed his cousin Sitric to travel overseas and gain more aid and with Gormflaith’s prompting Sitric began gathering support from Vikings outside Ireland, most notably Earl Sigurd of Orkney and Brodir of the Isle of Man. The conflict Gormflaith engineered now came to a climax at the Battle of Clontarf.
 
The two armies met at Clontarf on Good Friday, 23 April 1014. Old rivalry resurfaced again when the North Leinster forces sided with Sitric against Brian Ború. According to Njal’s Saga: “Earl Sigurd arrived at Dublin with his army on Palm Sunday. Brodir and his forces were already there… King Brian had already reached Dublin with all his forces. On Good Friday his army came marching out of the town, and both sides drew up in battle array. Brodir was on one flank, and King Sigtrygg (Sitric) on the other, with Earl Sigurd in the centre… The armies clashed, and there was bitter fighting.” 44 Cogad Gaedel re Gallaib (War of the Gaidhil with the Gaill,or ‘The war of the Irish against the Foreigners’) also gives a detailed description of the Battle of Clontarf, though as it emanates from the court circle of Brian it depicts his campaigns as a battle to free Ireland from the invader. It also attributes Clontarf an ever greater significance as a battle which prevented a Viking take-over of Ireland. In reality, the battle of Clontarf was not a struggle of the Irish against the Vikings as by 1014 they posed no such threat.
 
What is certain is that the power of the Vikings was finally broken at the Battle of Clontarf. Although victorious Brian was killed by Brodir of Man, who was fleeing the battle. Brodir gathered a few warriors and burst through the thinned pen of shields guarding the seventy-two year old High King and decapitated him. He was instantly captured and subsequently suffered a very long, cruel, and grisly death. The battle saw the Norse and Irish army annihilated. Every one of their leaders, Sigurd, Brodir, Mael Mordha, and Dubhgall, was slain and from an army of 6,600 only 600 survived. The Irish paid dearly for their victory though with the death of Brian Ború, his son Murrough, grandson Turlough, brother Cuduiligh, and nephew Coniang. In addition ten Munster kings and 1,600 other nobles also perished along with 2,400 common warriors so that from an army of 7,000 less than 3,000 survived. However, neither Gormflaith nor Sitric were killed, as they were safe behind the walls of Dublin. She died in 1030, Sitric died in 1036.45
 
 After the Battle of Clontarf the Vikings began to decline in power, as they were totally absorbed into Irish culture. Hibernian and Norse culture diffused into one. Malachy became high king after Brian’s death, but he died in 1022 so his eight-year reign was short-lived. Leinster became a battleground for the various opposing forces seeking power and the upheaval and unrest left it wide open to exploitation from the next set of invaders – the Normans. Ironically, descendents of Viking settlers from Normandy.
 
There are few mentions of Kildare in both Njal’s Saga  and Cogad Gaedel re Gallaib, while the Annals of the Four Masters (a compilation of earlier annals) mentions County Kildare more frequently. Both works have their own slants on the times and incorporate many myths and legends and have to be taken at face value. Although doubtless exaggerated, both works are not too far removed in the depictions of the Battle of Clontarf, with Cogad Gaedel re Gallaib giving detailed descriptions of the array and tactical disposition of the various units on the battlefield, together with descriptions of weaponry, armour and battle standards. There are very few Viking finds in Kildare. While an extensive complex of cemeteries and single burials existed at Dublin during the Viking age, all Viking burials outside of Dublin appear to have been inhumations. The only probable Viking cemetery in Ireland outside Dublin is on Rathlin Island on the site of a Bronze Age cemetery. Most of the Viking graves found elsewhere in Ireland have been found near known Viking settlements. In 1788 a skeleton was found at Barnhall, near Leixlip. The find recorded “a small iron battle-axe found with some fragments of other iron weapons, and some human bones”. Leixlip, of course, had a large Norse settlement. Scandinavian influence can also be found at the ecclesiastical site with the hogback at Castledermot, evidence that Vikings were actually resident at the monastery in the tenth century.46 Weapons of Viking warfare are also very rare. A few axe heads and arrowheads have been found. Ten relatively complete Viking swords have been found in Ireland apart from grave finds. An Anglo-Saxon sword was also found at Wheelam, a townland north of Rathbride, Co. Kildare. Rathbride is situated near Kildare town, the scene of many Norse raids during the Viking Age. Vikings from England were believed to have used the Wheelam sword.47 
 
 
Endnotes.
 
1.       Padraic O’Farrell, A History of County Kildare, p22.
2.       John O’Donovan, editor, The Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland by the Four Masters.
3.       Howard Clarke, Maire Ni Mhaoinaigh & Raghnall O Floinn, editors, Ireland and Scandinavia in the Early Viking Age, p429.
4.       Viking Network, Ireland.
5.      Annals, p453.
6.      K. Kiely, M. Newman, J. Ruddy, Tracing your Ancestors in County Kildare, p7.
7.      Ireland and Scandinavia, p429.
8.       Naas local History Group, Nás Na Ríogh. From Poorhouse Road to the Fairy Flax … an illustrated history of Naas, p.138.
9.      Ireland and Scandinavia, pp59-60.
10. Thomas Bartlett and Keith Jeffery, editors, A Military History of Ireland, p46.
11. Annals of Kildare, Kildare Heritage Town.
12. Ireland and Scandinavia, pp325-6.
13. Ibid, pp344 & 346.
14. Viking Network.
15. Ireland and Scandinavia, pp351; Annals p497.
16. Annals, p541.
17. Ibid, p537; Ireland and Scandinavia, p431.
18. Viking Network.
19. O’Farrell, Kildare, p24.
20. Annals, p591.
21. Gerard Nelson, A History of Leixlip, Co. Kildare,p1.
22. Viking Network.
23. Ireland and Scandinavia, p51.
24. Annals, p615.
25. Ibid, p621.
26. Ibid, p623.
27. Ibid, p635.
28. Ibid, p647.
29. Ibid, p657.
30. Ibid, p685.
31. Ibid, p735.
32. Ibid, p739.
33. Ireland and Scandinavia, p312.
34. Ibid, p359; Annals, p689.
35. Ibid, p360.
36. O’Farrell, Kildare, p24.
37. Njals Saga.
38. O’Farrell, Kildare, p25.
39. Ibid, p25.
40. Ireland and Scandinavia, p363.
41. Njals Saga.
42. Ireland and Scandinavia, p363.
43. Njals Saga.
44. Battle of Clontarf, Tim Donovan.
45. Ireland and Scandinavia, p399.
46. Ibid, 165.
47. Ibid, pp233-4.
 
Bibliography.
 
Books.
Bartlett, Thomas & Jeffrey, Keith, editors, A Military History of Ireland, (Cambridge, 1996).
Clarke, Howard, Ni Mhaoinaigh, Maire, & O Floinn, Raghnall, editors, Ireland and Scandinavia in the Early Viking Age (Dublin, 1998).
Naas Local History Group, Nás Na Ríogh. From poorhouse Road to the Fairy Flax … an illustrated history of Naas, (Naas 1990).
Magnusson, Magnus & Herman Pálsson, trans., Njal’s Saga.
Nelson, Gerard, A History of Leixlip, Co. Kildare, Kildare County Library, 1990.
O’Donovan, John, editor, The Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland by the Four Masters, (Dublin 1848-51) English Translation, Volume 1 & 2.
Todd, J.H., editor, Cogad Gaedel re Gallaib (War of the Gaidhil with the Gaill). London 1867.
 
Pamphlets.
Donovan, Tim, Battle of Clontarf.
Website.
Viking Network, Ireland, sourced 12/3/06, 21/3/06, 3/4/06.
 

 

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