Slaine


Slaine @1014Retold Battle of Clontarf Twitter Retelling
  • Title - Queen of Dublin
  • Likes - Her dad Brian
  • Dislikes - Being stuck in the middle
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Daughter of Brian Boru, wife of King Sitric, caught between both sides of the conflict.

Not much is known about this intriguing figure, on the edge of the Clontarf story.

She was married to Sitric, possibly around 999, marking a strategic family alliance between Sitric and Brian Boru to consolidate some kind of accord between the two kings following Brian’s defeat of Sitric and Mael Morda at Glenmama.

The alliance was not to hold, the marriage bond apparently not strong enough to guarantee Sitric’s loyalty to his new father in law. Along with Mael Morda he once more commenced attacks on Brian’s territory and began to plot against him.

We can only guess where this left relations between Sitric and Sláine, what she thought of the situation in Dublin during the long winter of 1013, when her father and brothers besieged Dublin and laid waste to much of Leinster.

In a situation where contacts between the Norse and native Irish were fluid and frequent, did he restrict her access to Irish friends and family, to stop her passing on intelligence? Was she effectively a hostage, a potential bargaining chip for Sitric?

One account of the battle of Clontarf places her beside her husband on the day, observing the battle from inside the walls of Dublin, watching gleefully as his Viking allies were routed by her father’s forces, commanded by her brother Murchad.

Sláine’s conflict of interest encapsulates neatly the tangled web of family and clan linkages binding together the main participants in the Battle of Clontarf.

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