Murchad @1014retold Battle of Clontarf 1014 Twitter Retelling
  • Title - Dal Cais Prince and Battle Commander
  • Likes - Swords
  • Dislikes - Vikings
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Dal Cais field commander, son and chosen heir of Brian Boru, and a skilled swordsman.

Murchad was one of the sons of Brian Boru and led the main contingent of Dal Cais forces on the battlefield at Clontarf.

We know relatively little detail about Murchad from any reliable historical sources, but saga and legend have given him a prominent and colourful role in the events around the battle.

Indeed the most pro-Brian account, the Cogad Gaeil re Gallaib, gives us a vivid picture of Murchad as a skilled swordsman, a master of the art of wielding a sword in each hand, comparing him to the heroes of Greek legend.

Whether or not there is any truth in this, Murchad was clearly a leader of some ability, able to command and inspire a force of both professional soldiers and also the crowds of untrained unskilled farmers and peasants who would have taken to the field in support of their king.

And while we have only folk tales and legends as our sources, it would also appear that Murchad was Brian’s favoured successor, the anointed heir who would continue the High King’s work and enforce the rule of the Dal Cais over the island of Ireland and beyond.

Murchad was joined on the field of battle at Clontarf by his young son Tairdelbach, as well as many other members of the extended Dal Cais clan, linked by clan loyalty and familiarity as much as by any sense of duty.