The Battle of Clontarf – then and now


HistoryHub and University College Dublin have teamed up to create two-part video series to commemorate the 1000th anniversary of the Battle of Clontarf. In the first film, historian Dr Elva Johnston (UCD) talks about Brian Boru, the battle in 1014, and how the story of the battle was shaped by Brian’s descendants. The second video charts how the 1014 battle was skilfully usurped and retold by various nationalists for political purposes. It focuses in particular on Daniel O’Connell in 1843 and the Irish Volunteers in 1914 both of whom artfully propagated the myth of a David and Goliath struggle of the Irish against powerful foreign oppressors. This UCD video challenges this myth and shows how Brian Boru was put to propaganda purposes by nationalists in later years.




clontarf then and nowThese videos features contributions from UCD historians Dr Elva Johnston, Dr Eamon O’Flaherty, Dr Conor Mulvagh and Dr Meidhbhín Ní Úrdail of the School of Irish, Celtic Studies, Irish Folklore & Linguistics. The video was edited and directed by Mr Mike Liffey of HistoryHub.ie and was wholly funded by the UCD School of History and Archives.

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Sharan Newman