Tourists invited to walk in Brian Ború’s footsteps

Historic sites relating to the life and times of Brian Ború are promoted in a newly developed tourist trail marking the 1000th anniversary of the death of the last High King of Ireland.


The National Brian Ború Trail was launched this afternoon by Jimmy Deenihan, T.D., Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, at St. Flannan’s Cathedral, Killaloe, Co. Clare.


The event, which was hosted by Clare County Council in association with Killaloe Ballina 2014, was attended by National Brian Ború Programme representatives from Armagh, Clare, Dublin and Tipperary, the four main locations with connections to the life and High Kingship of Ireland’s best known historical figure. Tipperary was represented by Cashel Town Mayor Joe Moloney, Mayor of Tipperary South Jimmy O’Brien and Mayor of Tipperary North Ger Darcy.


The newly launched Trail features information on the important sites and buildings associated with Ború including Kincora where he was born, and Clontarf where he was killed following his victory over the Viking rulers of Dublin in 1014.  Other sites of interest include St. Patrick’s Cathedral in the City of Armagh where Ború is buried; the Rock of Cashel where he was crowned High King of Ireland; and Lough Derg and the River Shannon where his navy was located.

 A copy of the National Brian Ború Trail may be downloaded via this link:- Brian Boru Trail

Speaking in Killaloe today, Minister Deenihan said the launch of the Brian Ború Trail complements a comprehensive nationwide programme of commemorative festivals and events taking place during 2014.


The Minister continued: “Brian Ború’s influence on Ireland’s political landscape is well known but his legacy is also evident throughout the physical landscape of the island with dozens of buildings linked to his fascinating story and that of his ancestors. For the first time, this National Trail promotes some of the buildings and sites most associated with Ború which I believe will help to promote tourism in the areas concerned and will also help to further promote the story of an individual who is an indelible part of this island’s rich history.”


Welcoming the new tourist guide, Cashel Town Mayor Joe Moloney stated: “Cashel Town Council is delighted to partner with the local communities of Clontarf, Killaloe Ballina and Armagh in celebrating the life and achievements of one of Ireland’s most famous citizens. I am delighted to pledge my support for this new Trail which I believe will serve as a tremendous boost to cultural and tourism activity in the areas concerned for years to come.”


Mayor of Tipperary North Ger Darcy added: “From a Tipperary Local Authorities perspective, significant effort has been undertaken to ensure that the Brian Ború millennial anniversary is established as an important cultural and tourism activity which lays the platform for further cultural and tourism development in future years. This Guide will serve as a useful tool for promoting Brian Ború’s close links with Clare, and in doing so help to promote other sites of interest throughout Ireland.”


Produced by the Brian Ború 2014 Steering Group, the Brian Ború Trail guide is available at tourist offices, Council buildings and libraries throughout Ireland. Thousands of copies of the new guide are also being distributed to visitor attractions and accommodation providers throughout Ireland.


Visit to learn about the National Brian Ború Programme of events taking place during 2014.

About Brian Ború:

– Early Life

Brian Ború, son of Cinnéide and Bé Bhoinn, was born in 941 at Killaloe.  His family belonged to the Uí Toirdealbhaigh – a Dalcassian tribe who had settled here hundreds of years earlier at Grianán Lachtna on the slopes of Crag Hill.  Brian’s father and his grandfather Lorcán were the first of his family to rise to prominence leading their tribe against the Vikings.

– The Vikings

Brian’s father Cinnéide died in battle in 951 and Mahon took over leadership of the Dalcassians. Brian convinced a reluctant Mahon to defend their territories against the Vikings and together they drove them from Cashel and Limerick paving the way for Mahon to become King of Munster in 970.  Following Mahon’s murder by rival Munster chiefs, Brian led his tribe and avenged his brother’s death.  He attacked Scattery Island, routing Vikings and killing their leader Ivar.  He then turned his attention to Donovan and Molloy who were responsible for Mahon’s death and they too were killed. Brian now consolidated his position in Munster with the marriage of his daughter to Molloy’s son.  His inauguration as King of Munster took place at Cashel in 977.

– High King of Ireland

Although Brian continued to defend against invading Vikings he allowed those Vikings who had settled and established commercial activities to continue to operate. Some Vikings sided with Brian in his battles against plundering Vikings.

Brian and the High King Malachy at times cooperated in their battles against the Vikings, but their political rivalry continued. At one stage they divided control of the country between them with Malachy reigning in the Northern half and Brian in the South.  But Brian had ambitions to unite the whole country.  In 999 they successfully captured Dublin from the Vikings and Brian strengthened his position by marrying Gormlaith the mother of Sitric, Viking leader in Dublin at that time.  Between then and 1002 Brian demanded Malachy’s abdication. Finally Malachy, unable to gain support of the northern Uí Neills, abdicated and Brian became High King or Ard Rí of a united Ireland.

The tide began to change in 1013 with a revolt against Brian by Leinstermen aided by Dublin Vikings. Vikings in Munster too were getting more active.  The spark that led to the Battle of Clontarf may have been a dispute during a game of chess at Kincora. Vikings from the Isle of Man, Orkney Islands and Hebrides came to the aid of Sitric at Gormlaith’s request.

The battle on Good Friday 1014, where the Dalcassian forces defeated the Vikings, resulted in the deaths of Brian, his son and potential successor Murrough and his grandson.  After the battle, the bodies of Brian and his son were brought to Armagh by its clergy and waked for 12 nights before being buried in a new tomb.

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