The Battle of Clontarf & aftermath. Gorumla. Ireland.

Irish Hedge Row History. Session #13
Two Thousand Years of Irish History
From the Hedge School at

The Battle of Clontarf and it’s aftermath.

Listen to the complete Hedge Row History Series here:
See all of our sessions on Genealogy; Song; Travel;
Language; and History at the Hedge School here:

Random notes on todays show:

Background Events to The Battle of Clontarf

1012 A.D.
Strife with province of Leinster and Dublin vs. Brian. Cenel Eogain rises.
Brian Fortifies Thomand (Clare)

1013 A.D.
Cenel Eogain goes to Kells, and MacSechnaill retreats, fighting continues.

1013 A.D.
Brian Boru moves on Dublin, and was blockaded till Christmas, but would
return.  The Norse of Dublin and the entire province rallied to Sitric, King of
Dublin, who went to the Orkneys and Man. Gained ships and support of several
Norse leaders.

Brian then raises some men from Connaught, but the north ‘stood down’
and did not participate, and the same for Osraige.  He had support of M.S.
but he is reported leaving on the eve of the battle..

March Begins

Brian marches to Dublin while his son Donnchad attacked the Province of
Leinster as a diversionary tactic..

Good Friday Begins

Battle takes place on Good Friday, April 23, 1014. The two opponents were
about equal and battled the whole day, with heavy losses.

Brian Killed
Brian slain in his tent by Norsemen who were fleeing the scene of defeat.
Norse records also say Brian was killed with a blow to the head, by Brodar,
as the Norse forces were finally fleeing the battlefield in defeat. Brodar is
also given as being slain in both Irish and Norse records. Brians son Murchad
and many Munster leaders slain as well.  Leading to a greatly weakened force
and decline of the Dalcassions for a decade or so.

The Viking Lives
Sitric, the King of Dublin, stayed in the city and lived. Brians son Donnchad
led the Munster army home. Brian was buried at Armagh with great ceremony.

This battle was not the exiling of the Norse from Ireland.  It was essentially
a battle between forces within Ireland for control.  It was the putting down
of a revolt by the province of Leinster and Dublin against Brian.
Everyone was weakened.

Brians grandson would later come to rule brutally in Leinster and Dublin.
The next major point in Irish History would be the coming of the Norman

‘Queen’ Gorumla
Brians wife Gormflaith (Gorumla) b.955   d.1030 – Vikings called her ‘Kormloda’
Three of Brians 4 reputed wives, little are known of.  Not so for Gorumla.
Gormflaith must have been amazing, and she was said to have been beautiful.

All the Kings with Gorumla
1) She marries first, Olaf, the Norse King of Dublin.
They have a son, Sitric, who became king of Norse Dublin.
This son opposed Brian Boru in Dublin, at the Battle of Clontarf 1014.
He also went to the islands of Orkney and Man to recruit help.

2) She second marries Malachy, King of the North of Ireland, who fought with
and against Brian Boru, and came to the Battle of Clontarf on Brians side. He
ruled as ard-ri after Brian for a while.

3) She marries thirdly, Brian Boru himself, but may have been put aside for
upon her death she was given as queen of Munster, not Queen of Ireland.
She is recorded also in Norse records as the instigator of the disaster at Clontarf.
No record of Brians physical appearance, not the ones used with more modern
arms, chain mail, etc…


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…….So end the notes from the Irish Hedge Row today.
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About Your Session Leaders

Both Michael and Peter are graduates of Rockhurst University,
and have given lectures, exhibits, tours, and educational
seminars relating to Ireland since 1984.

Peter Reilly Adams
Hedge School Instructor
Peter  traces his roots to the County Fermanagh and County
Cavan. Growing up in the City of New York and influenced by
the Irish neighborhoods, he was educated in Catholic Schools
all his life and was a member of the Augustinian Recollect
Order. Now in Kansas City, Kansas, he has a Bacholar
Degree in  Philosophy, Theology and History and Masters
in Liberal Arts and Public Administration
He has taught at every level of education over the past 40
years and served as Assistant to the Mayor in Kansas City.
He was the host of the Irish Radio show, Celtic Crossings
and has led tours to Ireland for 23 years. He is a noted
musician and a talented vocalist.

Michael C. O’Laughlin
Poor Scholar
Mike O’Laughlin is the founder of the hedge school,
and is the leading author and publisher of Irish Works
in the field of Irish Families, Genealogy and History.

About Mike

Mike is the worlds most published author in his field, with over 40 books, 700 articles, two newsletters, a blog, 200 podcasts and 170 videos. He also publishes rare books like "The Annals of Ireland by the Four Masters" and Keatings "History of Ireland". Mike also sings in the Irish (Gaeilge) Language, with 3 albums to his credit. Mike descends from the O’Loughlins of Kilfenora, County Clare, and the O’Donahues of Glenflesk, County Kerry and also bears Sullivan, Buckley, Kilmartin, Llewellyn and Kelliher roots. He has led tours to Ireland and maintains a 3,000 volume Irish library.
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