A Viking adventure centre, a new fountain in O'Connell Street and planting 1,000 trees will be part of celebrating Dublin's millennium but is 988 the right date?

The countdown to the Dublin Millennium has begun. Details of 1988 celebrations were announced on board the LÉ Aisling by the Lord Mayor of Dublin Carmencita Hederman. 

On the back of a £6 million sponsorship, Dublin will get a new fountain on O'Connell Street, a Viking Adventure Centre, as well as the planting of a thousand trees throughout Dublin City. 

Despite the plans for celebrations, debate continues amongst historians as to whether 1988 is the correct year to celebrate a thousand years of Dublin. Organisers argue that the year 988 was when Dublin became an Irish settlement. However, it was also a year of siege and plunder for Dubliners as it came under attack by King Malachy of Meath in an attempt to extend his reign as far as the River Liffey. Howard Clarke of the Department of History at University College Dublin (UCD) argues that 988 is not a year that Dubliners should celebrate and that a humiliating siege is not a good basis for celebration. 

Organisers of the millennium celebrations hope to raise additional tourism revenue of £25 million and reject that the year 1988 is the wrong year to celebrate Dublin's history.  Matt McNulty, Managing Director of the Dublin Millennium, says that we are celebrating the year that marked the events which saw Dublin falling under Irish jurisdiction.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 17 November 1987. The reporter is Cathy Halloran.