- Title - Dal Cais Prince and Battle Commander
- Likes - His dad.
- Dislikes - His mum.
The son of Brian Boru and Gormlaith, half brother of Sitric, senior Dal Cais leader.
Donnchad was the result of the union between Brian Boru and Gormlaith. In the twisted genealogy of the period, he was the half brother (and also brother in law) of Sitric and the nephew of Mael Morda, Brian’s two main enemies at Clontarf.
With such remarkable parents, it seems likely that Donnchad was an intelligent, capable and ambitious person, though before 1014 his role goes largely unrecorded.
While Brian had a number of sons, it appears that Donnchad and Murchad were the two closest to him, acting as his deputies in 1014. As tensions rose all around Leinster and Dublin, Donnchad was deployed by his father to wreak havoc around the rebelling territories.
As the overseas allies of Sitric and Mael Morda made their way to Dublin, Donnchad and his troops were separated from the main body of the Munster Dal Cais army, raiding and skirmishing around what is now North Country Dublin in a punitive and destructive campaign.
As his brother Murchad and his father Brian arranged the battle lines and prepared for combat against the Leinster challengers and their overseas allies, Donnchad may have been unaware of the speed and severity of what was about to happen.
He surely could not have been anticipating the scale of the bloodshed and the loss of life that was to ensue on that day.