Danish pirates and the 900th anniversary of the Battle of Clontarf
Brian Boru, who defeated the viking marauders in the Battle of Clontarf 900 years ago Photo: © National Portrait Gallery, London

Danish pirates and the 900th anniversary of the Battle of Clontarf

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Published: 3 April 1914

Good Friday 1914 marks the 900th anniversary of the Battle of Clontarf. According to The Irish Independent the victory over the norsemen by Brian Boru marked the release of Ireland from the thrall of the pagan Danish and Scandinavian pirates who had controlled the island.

The paper claimed that the Danes were utterly illiterate and fiercely barbarous, with no ties of common humanity with the Irish. It was further claimed that one of their worst pastimes was the wholesale butchery of children, including the practice of picking up an infant on the point of a spear, flinging it into the air and catching its writhing body on another spear-point before it reached the ground.

RTÉ

Century Ireland

The Century Ireland project is an online historical newspaper that tells the story of the events of Irish life a century ago.