Battle of Clontarf', oil on canvas painting by Hugh Frazer, 1826.

1014: Brian Boru and the Battle of Clontarf

Although Brian and his allies emerged triumphant the battle resulted in his family losing power. Máel Sechnaill, king of Tara, regained his influence as the most important ruler on the island and was recognized as king of Ireland. However, Brian’s legacy meant that the Uí Néill supremacy would never go unquestioned again. His own descendants, taking his name as a surname, were among those who fought to become kings of Ireland in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. It was these descendants who shaped Brian’s image and turned the Battle of Clontarf into a defining moment of Irish history.

Dr Elva Johnston

In the first of a two-part video series for History Hub to mark 1000 years since the Battle of Clontarf, Dr Elva Johnston (UCD) discusses Brian Boru, the battle in 1014, and how the story of the battle was shaped by Brian Boru’s descendants.

Image: Battle of Clontarf, oil on canvas painting by Hugh Frazer (Isaacs Art Center) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.