The Kings of Ailech and the Vikings, 800-1060AD A History

Edition: 2nd
Format: Paperback
Pub. Date: 2020-04-17
Publisher(s): Four Courts Press
List Price: $37.33

Buy New

Usually Ships in 2-3 Business Days.

Rent Textbook

Select for Price
There was a problem. Please try again later.

Used Textbook

We're Sorry
Sold Out


We're Sorry
Not Available

This item is being sold by an Individual Seller and will not ship from the Online Bookstore's warehouse. The Seller must confirm the order within two business days. If the Seller refuses to sell or fails to confirm within this time frame, then the order is cancelled.

Please be sure to read the Description offered by the Seller.


This book is an account of Viking activity in the north of Ireland, one of the less well-known episodes in the history of early medieval Ireland. It is also the story of the Cenel nEogain dynasty, an important Irish population group in the north of the island. The kings of Ailech came to prominence c.800 AD, just as the first Viking fleets began to raid the coasts of Ulster. Early Viking activity in the north of Ireland followed a similar pattern to raiding activity elsewhere on the island. It began to diverge after 866 when Aed Findliath, a high-king of Ireland from the Cenel nEogain dynasty, destroyed Scandinavian settlements in what is now Co. Antrim. It appears to have been the intention of the Cenel nEogain to allow Viking strongholds to survive further south in Ulaid territory at Strangford Lough and Carlingford, and later-on also at Ruib Mena on Lough Neagh. However, these longphuirt too were eventually destroyed by the Irish of the north of Ireland, the final ones in a spiral of violence that surrounded the death of the famous king of Aileach, Muirchertach na Cochall Craicinn (of the Leather Cloaks), who was killed by the Vikings in 943. This book also tells the stories of other note-worthy early medieval high-kings of Ireland who sprang from the Cenel nEogain dynasty. Among those discussed is Niall Glundub, killed at the battle of Dublin in 919, leading the combined armies of the Northern and Southern Ui Neill against Viking invaders known as the grandsons of Ivarr. Also included is his grandson Domnall Ua Neill, one of the first Irishmen to adopt a surname (which he took from his well-known grandfather). It was Domnall’s over-ambitious plans, caused by the expulsion of the Vikings from the north of Ireland, that instead led to the collapse of the traditional Ui Neill high-kingship of Ireland in the early eleventh century.

Author Biography

Darren McGettigan is the author of Richard II and the Irish kings (2016), among others.

An electronic version of this book is available through VitalSource.

This book is viewable on PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and most smartphones.

By purchasing, you will be able to view this book online, as well as download it, for the chosen number of days.

A downloadable version of this book is available through the eCampus Reader or compatible Adobe readers.

Applications are available on iOS, Android, PC, Mac, and Windows Mobile platforms.

Please view the compatibility matrix prior to purchase.