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Kings of Dublin

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Title: Kings of Dublin  
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Subject: Dublin, History of the Isle of Man, 1118, Lists of monarchs in the British Isles, Battle of Clontarf, Olaf Guthfrithson, Tanistry, O'Brien dynasty, Irish people, Earl of Dublin
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Kings of Dublin

Kingdom of Dublin
Dyflin / Duibhlinn

Norse settlements (green) in Ireland.
Capital Dublin
Languages Old Norse,
Old and Middle Irish
Religion Norse paganism
Celtic Christianity
Roman Catholicism
Government Monarchy
 -  839–845 (first) Thorgest
 -  1160–1171 (last) Hasculf Thorgillsson
 -  Established 839
 -  Disestablished 1171

The Vikings invaded the territory around Dublin in the 9th century, establishing the Norse Kingdom of Dublin, the earliest and longest-lasting Norse kingdom in the British Isles, excepting the Kingdom of Mann and the Isles. This corresponded to most of present-day County Dublin. The Norse referred to the kingdom as Dyflin, which is derived . The first reference to the Vikings comes from the Annals of Ulster and the first entry for 841 AD reads: "Pagans still on Lough Neagh". It is from this date onwards that we get references to ship fortresses or longphorts being established in Ireland. It may be safe to assume that the Vikings first over-wintered in 840–841 AD. The actual location of the longphort of Dublin is still a hotly debated issue. Norse rulers of Dublin were often co-kings, and occasionally also Kings of Jórvík in what is now Yorkshire.

Over time, the rulers of Dublin became increasingly Gaelicized. They began to exhibit a great deal of Gaelic and Norse cultural syncretism, and are often referred to as Norse-Gaels.

The extent of the kingdom varied, but in peaceful times it extended roughly as far as Wicklow (Wykinglo) in the south, Glen Ding near Blessington, Leixlip (Lax Hlaup) west of Dublin, and Skerries, Dublin (Skere) to the north. The Fingal area north of Dublin was named after the Norse who lived there.

In 988, Máel Sechnaill mac Domnaill led the initial Irish conquest of Dublin. As a result the founding of Dublin is counted by some from the year 988, although a village had existed on the site of Dublin since before the Roman occupation of Great Britain nearly a thousand years earlier. Máel Sechnaill mac Domnaill was dethroned by Brian Boru (1002–1014).

In the mid 11th century, the Kingdom of Leinster began exerting influence over Dublin, but its kings remained Norse-Gaels until the Norman invasion of 1171. Though the last Norse king of Dublin was killed by the Normans in 1171, the population of the city retained their distinctiveness based on their origins for some further generations.

Norse Kings

Ruler Reign Notes
Amlaíb Conung 853–873 brother of Ímar and Auisle
Ímar 856–873
Auisle 853–867
Eystein Olafsson 873–875
Halfdan 873/875–877
Barid 875/877–881
Mac Auisle 881–883
Eoloir Jarnknesson unclear
Sichfrith Ivarsson c. 883–888
Sigtrygg (Sitric) Ivarsson 888–893
Sichfrith Jarl 893–894
Ímar ua Ímair 896–902
Dublin abandoned by the Norse from 902 to 917.
Sihtric ua Ímair (a.k.a. Sihtric Cáech) 917–921 defeated Niall Glundub; also king of Jórvík
Gofraid ua Ímair 921–934 grandson of Ímar
Olaf III Guthfrithson 934–940 son of Gofraid ua Ímair
Blácaire mac Gofrith 940–945
Sigtrygg (Sitric) 941–943
Amlaíb Cuarán 945–947
Blácaire mac Gofrith 947–948 restored
Gofraid mac Sitriuc 948–951
Amlaíb Cuarán 952–980 restored
Glúniairn 980–989
Ivar of Waterford or Sigtrygg Silkbeard 989–993
Ivar of Waterford 994–995
Sigtrygg (Sitric) Silkbeard Olafsson 995–1036
Echmarcach mac Ragnaill 1036–1038
Ímar mac Arailt 1038–1046
Echmarcach mac Ragnaill 1046–1052
Murchad mac Diarmata mac Mael na mBo 1052–1070
Diarmait mac Mail na mBo 1070–1072
Domnall mac Murchada mac Diarmata 1070–1072
Gofraid mac Amlaíb meic Ragnaill 1072–1075
Muirchertach Ua Briain 1075–1086
Enna mac Diarmata mac Mael na mBo 1086–1089
Donnchad mac Domnail Remair mac Mael na mBo 1086–1089
Godred Crovan after1091–1094
Domnall mac Taidc Ua Briain c.1094–1102
Magnus Barefoot 1102–1103
Domnall mac Taidc Ua Briain 1103–11?? restored
Donnchad mac Murchada mac Diarmata  ????–1115
Diarmat mac Enna 1115–1117
Enna mac Donnchada mac Murchada 1118–1126
Conchobair mac Tiorrdelbach Ua Conchobair 1126–1127
Torcall fl.1133
Conchobair Ua Briain 1141–1142
Ottir 1142–1148 from the Hebrides
Ragnall mac Torcaill 11??–1146
Brotar mac Torcaill 1148–1160
Ascall mac Ragnaill 1160–1171

See also


  • Downham, Clare, Viking Kings of Britain and Ireland: The Dynasty of Ívarr to A.D. 1014. Edinburgh. 2007.
  • Forte, Angelo, ISBN 0-521-82992-5.
  • ISBN 0-19-516237-4.
  • Larsen, Anne-Christine (ed.), The Vikings in Ireland. Roskilde: The Viking Ship Museum. 2001.
  • Todd, James Henthorn (ed. and tr.), Cogadh Gaedhel re Gallaibh: The War of the Gaedhil with the Gaill. Longmans. 1867.
  • Woolf, Alex, "Age of Sea-Kings: 900–1300", in Donald Omand (ed.), The Argyll Book. Edinburgh. 2004. pp. 94–109.
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