Mael Muire

Mael Muire @1014Retold Battle of Clontarf 1014 Twitter Retelling
  • Title - Queen of Meath, Queen of Tara
  • Likes - Mael Sechnaill
  • Dislikes - Not being High Queen.
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The wife of Mael Sechnaill, the daughter of Olaf Cuaran, and the sister of Sitric.

The fluid and confusing family relationships surrounding the protagonists of the Battle of Clontarf are highlighted again by Mael Muire, Mael Sechnaill‘s wife and queen.

Mael Muire was the daughter of the famous Olaf Cuaran of Dublin and York, and the half-sister of Sitric Silkbeard. (There has even been some speculation that her mother was Gormlaith herself.)

This marriage between Mael Sechnaill – an O’Neill king of Tara, of ancient Irish royalty – and Mael Muire, daughter of a noble Norse house, demonstrates the tensions there must have been amongst the allies at Clontarf, and how tenuous the allegiances.

Again and again we see that the story of Clontarf in 1014 was far from a simple tale of Irish versus Viking.

At every turn of the tale we see Norse and Irish inter-marrying strategically, sizing up opportunities, and taking up arms against family members, in a ruthless struggle for personal power, prestige and profit.

In the case of Mael Muire, the daughter of a Viking king, and the wife of an Irish king whose power was destroyed by Brian’s rise one has to wonder where her true loyalties lay.