29 April 2014

Brian Boru Millennium Celebration

Funeral of Brian Boru   

After his death at the battle of Clontarf on Good Friday, 1014, Brian Boroimhe, High King of Ireland, was buried ‘on the north side of the great church’ at Armagh.  The Church of Ireland Cathedral of St Patrick, which stands on the site, incorporates a memorial tablet in its north wall.  A service will be held to mark the millennium of the burial of Brian Boroimhe on Sunday 27th April 2014 at 3.15 p.m. In this service, the Cathedral aimed to reflect on the historic tragedy and highlight the significance for the Island of today.

Based on the Anglican liturgy of Choral Evensong, the service will be ecumenical in character, including both commemoration of the burial and prayer for the Ireland of today.  Mark Patrick Hederman, OSB, Abbot of Glenstal, will preach.

A few of the folks who attended the ecumenical service St. Patrick's Cathedral. 

Villagers of Louth and Inniskeen, re-enacted the funeral cortége of Brian Boru as it processed from St. Mochta's Abbey in Louth village along the folk-lored laneways to the fording of the river Fane at the monastic ruins and round tower of St. Daig's at Inniskeen. Some 200 people gathered yesterday the 27th April 2014 in Medieval costume of Gaels and Religious of 1014 A.D., to re-enact Brian Boru's funeral cortége procession from Clontarf to Armagh, a stage of which processed between the Abbey of Louth and the river fording at Inniskeen.

Photograph shows Louth Village schoolchildren on the fairgreen with re-enactors.
Shaun O'Bryne]

The Crown of Brian Boru

The new crown.

23 April 2014

Brian Boru Millennium Festival

Festival event calendar

2014 marks the millennium anniversary since the death of Ireland’s High King, Brian Ború, who was killed during the Battle of Clontarf on Good Friday 1014. An island wide programme of commemorative events will centre on four key locations with connections to the life of Ireland’s best-known historical medieval figure: Cashel, where Brian was crowned High King of Ireland; Killaloe in County Clare, which was the seat of Brian’s High Kingship of Ireland; Clontarf, where Brian was killed following his victory over the Viking rulers of Dublin at the Battle of Clontarf and the City of Armagh.
     It is in the Ecclesiastical capital of Armagh that Brian Ború was laid to rest, as he wished, and his tomb is located in the Church of Ireland Cathedral. To commemorate the millennium anniversary a series of events, to suit all ages, will take place across Armagh City from Tuesday 22nd April to Sunday 4th May.

 Events include:

Tues 22nd Apr: The Bóroimhe Suite [Concert] (poster states 23rd April)
Wed 23rd April: The Arrival of Brian Ború [Re-enactment Event]
Thurs 24th April: Viking Longboats [Family Fun]
Sun 27th April: Ecumenical Service of Commemoration [Service]
Thurs 1st & Fri 2nd May: The Waking of Brian Ború [Performance]

The Bóroimhe Suite

 Wed 23rd

Reminder that the Boróimhe Suite Concert - commissioned to celebrate Brian Ború's life and commemorate his death, will take place in Killaloe St. Flannan's Church, The Green on Wed 23rd at 8.30pm. From 8pm some of our local Trad music students will perform. The show will open with a performance of Kincora Call. Tickets from Heaney's, Jimmy Whelan's, McKeogh's or onlinewww.coisnahabhna.ie

Arrival of Brian Boru:

 Wed 23rd

Join us at Navan Fort as re-enactors demonstrate the arrival of Brian Ború’s party in Armagh, hours after his death at the Battle of Clontarf.
The Arrival of Brian Ború’ is a historical re-enactment revealing how an advanced party of warriors left Clontarf to make arrangements for the arrival of Brian’s body in Armagh.
Fully armoured and having just returned from battle, meet the warriors who have been sent to Armagh to announce Brian’s death and make arrangements for his twelve day wake and subsequent burial.
The re-enactors will be demonstrating daily life in Medieval Ireland with a range of crafts for visitors to enjoy:
Hear tales from the battlefield as the warriors provide you with their own version of events from the Battle of Clontarf.
Scale Model
Find out what Dublin looked like in 1014 with a fascinating scale model of the Battle of Clontarf. The re-enactors will point out key areas in the battlefield and provide an insight into the battle.
Step back in time and learn this everyday craft of blacksmithing.
Learn about the ancient cooking methods with camp fire cooking.

View the special displays of medieval monier and learn the craft of coin making.

Viking Longboats At Loughgall

24 Apr 2014 | Loughgall Country Park

Enjoy a family fun day out as Viking Longboats are launched onto on the lake at Loughgall Country Park.

Family activities on the day include:
  • Rowing and Sailing Sessions
  • Viking History Talks
  • Warrior Weapon Training
  • Mock Battles for Children

Ecumenical Service of Commemoration

27 Apr 2014 | Saint Patrick's Church of Ireland Cathedral

Saint Patrick's Church of Ireland Cathedral, Armagh, Northern Ireland.

After his death at the battle of Clontarf on Good Friday, 1014, Brian Boroimhe, High King of Ireland, was buried ‘on the north side of the great church’ at Armagh. The Church of Ireland Cathedral of St Patrick, which stands on the site, incorporates a memorial tablet in its north wall. A service will be held to mark the millennium of the burial of Brian Boroimhe on Sunday 27th April 2014 at 3.15 p.m.
     Based on the Anglican liturgy of Choral Evensong, the service will be ecumenical in character, including both commemoration of the burial and prayer for the Ireland of today. Mark Patrick Hederman, OSB, Abbot of Glenstal, will preach.
     Given the widespread interest in the commemoration of the Battle of Clontarf, and the limited seating capacity of the Cathedral, admission to the service is likely to be by ticket only.  Application for tickets should be made by Friday 28th March toadmin@armaghpubliclibrary.co.uk, or by post to The Administrator, Armagh Public Library, 43 Abbey Street, ARMAGH, BT61 7DY.  Except in the case of those specifically invited, tickets will be issued on a ‘first come first served’ basis in early April.
     Looking forward to the service, the Dean of Armagh, the Very Revd Gregory Dunstan, said, "The Battle of Clontarf was of European importance. The commemorative programme runs from Killaloe through Cashel and Dublin to Armagh. In this service, the Cathedral aims both to reflect on an historic tragedy and to highlight its significance for the Island of today."

The Waking of Brian Ború

01 May 2014 | Church Of Ireland Cathedral Armagh

The Waking of Brian Ború’ is a community project involving adults and children from the Armagh area. The project stems from a wish to offer local people of all ages in Armagh an opportunity to reflect upon and engage with the one thousand year anniversary of Brian Ború’s death, by creating a community inspired performance on the hill at the Church of Ireland Cathedral in Armagh.

Viking Tented Village

03 May 2014 | The Mall

Viking re-enactors lived the ancient life for a week.

An event not to be missed as over 100 Vikings set up camp in a tented medieval village on The Mall. The Viking village display will include a large-scale living history re-enactment of a Viking settlement featuring cookery displays, crafts, bone and antler carving, a silversmith and blacksmith, skills demonstrations and much more. Visit the tented village and listen to the Viking’s tales, see authentic weapon displays and witness demonstrations.

Living ancient life can only go so far.

One of the creative things that has been created for the festival is the Kincora Call, whose origin is with the Maori native warriors of New Zealand called the Haka. This ritual dance was performed on the battle line to intimidate their opponents.

Youth performers of the Kincora Call talk with Brian Boru actor.

22 April 2014

Brian Boru Millennium Festival

Battle of Clontarf 2: Vikings take another beating 

 Over the two day battle re-enactment event over 60,000 came to watch  the 
 500  reenactors at St. Anne's Park.

They came, they saw, they eventually established Dublin, Waterford, Wexford, Limerick and Cork – and now the Vikings are back in North Dublin to re-enact the Battle of Clontarf a thousand years later in a re-match.
     Over 60,000 people attended the Easter weekend's first re-enactment of the battle between the Vikings and Irishmen, that featured 500 actor soldiers dressed in Viking and Irish period clothing. 
Viking waits for the signal to attack.
     The largest re-enactments ever staged in Ireland were held in St Anne’s Park close to the original battle site. The next big re-enactment event will be the Battle of Hasting, but its millennial event isn't until 2066.
The two-day Battle of Clontarf Festival included a medieval village with over 80 tents, skills and weapons demonstrations, a mounted display on horses, a Viking longboat, falconry, archery, food, music and events for the children.
     Tania Stewart attended the events with her sons, she said, “I think it’s absolutely brilliant, I was dying to come here because I’m half-Swedish and half-Irish – so I love the whole Celts and Vikings thing.” She was enthralled by the festival.
     Another spectator was Joe O’Neill and his children loved the festival, “They are having a ball- they are all just pirates to Jack, they are not Vikings at all,” Joe laughed. “It is a stunning event. I’m from Clontarf, but I haven’t been down this way in a long time, it’s great.”
Irishmen march under King Brian's banner.
     Re-enactor Russ Scott has taken part in historical battle re-enactments for 27 years across the globe. He said, “I did research on the Battle of Clontarf to put as much into the battle as we could and, with the 500 warriors we have on hand this weekend, we can bring in more realistic elements. Every group is here by invitation and we train to look good and fight well, but we don’t hurt people, although accidents do happen, but not very bad ones!”
     Donabate Community College history teacher Bryan Kelly and his brother, Cormac, took on a for-midable Viking with their hurls. Luckily though, it was only for a photo opportunity.
     "The battle was so good and the MC-ing especially was great," said Bryan. "Everyone seems to have a real in-depth knowledge of this history of the battle and they explained things well."
     The event was a success, said arts officer Ray Yates. "It's been an event where people can relax with their family and where there is lots to do for free, and I think that families really appreciated that," he said.
     The Battle of Clontarf took place on 23 April 1014, between the High-King of Ireland Brian Boru and an alliance of the king of Leinster, the king of Dublin and a Viking contingent from the Isle of Man, Orkney Islands and the isles of western Scotland. The battle is believed to have lasted all day, resulting in the deaths of almost all of the important figures on both sides. The Irish lost around 4,000 warriors, and the Viking side some 6,000. Brian Boru was killed, not in the bloody battle, but by the Manx Viking Leader, Brodir, who stumbled across his tent and slew Boru who had gone to his tent to pray and give thanks to God.
     Also the Battle of Clontarf was a family affair. Máel Sechnaill II of the Uí Néill, was the High-King who abdicated his crown to the king of Munster, Brian Boru in 1002. Máel was also the second husband of Gormflaith, sister of Máel na bo, king of Leinster, but he divorced her. Gormflaith then married Brian Boru, a political marriage to the mother of Sitric “Silkenbeard” Olafsson, king of Dublin, who was Brian's son-in-law having married Brian's daughter Slani. This marriage was hopefully an alliance with Dublin and Leinster. Brian and Gormflaith had a son Donncad (his parentage is debated, possibly the son of Brian's third wife). Gormflaith is also considered the instigator of the Leinster and Dublin kingdoms revolt.
The battle begins.
     The main Irish source of the Battle of Clontarf is the Cogadh Gaedhil re Gallaibh, which was written in the late 12th century and is thought to be a clever piece of O’Brien propaganda, which is okay if one is an O'Brien, but to others it is a tainted historical account. The Battle of Clontarf also features in the dramatic Icelandic text from the 13th century known as Njals Saga or The Story of Burnt Njal.
SOURCE IrishCentral.com & Herald.ie. Photos from these sources and Thyes Kavanagh

Women could be found among the warriors on both sides.
Victory for the Irish.

02 March 2014

Millennium festival remembering King Brian Boru

It has been almost two years since I last posted about the summer Olympics and the story of an O'Brien Olympian. I had background trouble with this post and I was reluctant to do another. Yet the celebration of the death of my progenitor and who's the subject of this blogspot is nearly here. Odd to be celebration the death of somebody, but Brian is considered the only Irish King whoever united the various provincial kingdoms and clans of Ireland under one king, even though it lasted just over two years past a decade. This celebration will come the 23 April 2014, will mark a thousand years since the battle of Clontarf outside of Norse Dublin, and the death of King Brian. In just six weeks begins the festival. To learn more about this unique festival click here http://www.brianborumillennium.ie/ .

This festival year is unique in that many artist of all the genres are creating music, songs, and art concerning King Brian. Such events as:
One such artist is Warren Faye, who painted twelve scenes from the life of Brian, from boy to his death, have been combined into a calendar for 2014, which can be seen in its entirety and a copy purchased at the following http://warrenfaye.com/section/380432_Brian_Boru.html . A few of his paintings are posted below.

As for myself I can't attend this wonderful event and historical moment, but I can post about it here and I shall be there (Emerald Isle) in spirit.

Slainte Mhagh,
Garaidh O Briain

Paintings by Warren Faye

Tadgh protects a wounded Brian in his youth.

In a period of relative peace, Brian and his eldest son Murchadh share a quiet moment on the west coast of Clare. It is 1004 A.D.
The old King Brian hears of Maol Mordha's plans against him, Sigurd, The Great Orkney Earl, has mobilised his armies. Brian the veteran general contemplates his last great battle.
Murchadh the warrior taunts the enemy and tempts his fate at the battle of Clontarf on Good Friday in the year 1014 A.D.