Brian Boru

Brian Boru @1014retold Battle of Clontarf 1014 Twitter Retelling
  • Title - High King of Ireland
  • Likes - Ruling
  • Dislikes - Losing his head
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The Emperor of Ireland, leader of the Dal Cais clan of Munster, and great warrior.

Brian Boru had risen from relative obscurity as head of the Munster-based Dal Cais clan to become acknowledged High King of all Ireland.

Having survived the sometimes fatal machinations of both clansmen and enemies, he succeeded to the throne of Munster at a relatively late age when his brother Mathgamhain was executed by a political rival.

In his subsequent rise to the High Kingship Brian made numerous enemies and attracted many challengers. During his long career he led many campaigns against Viking and Irish enemies alike.

Indeed one of his principal allies at Clontarf was the former High King Mael Sechnaill, who had submitted to Brian’s rule only under military pressure.

In the prevailing power politics of the day, Brian’s claim to rule would last only as long as he was capable of enforcing it at the point of a sword.

Undoubtedly a great leader, military strategist and political operator, his time at the top was to last less than a decade before his final battle on the field at Clontarf.

He was succeeded as head of the Dal Cais by Donnchad, the son he had with Gormlaith, who eventually became King of Munster.