Burning of Luimnech

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Burning of Luimnech
Date 968
Location Limerick, Ireland
Result Dal gCais victory
Belligerents
Dal gCais Norse of Limerick
Commanders and leaders
Brian Boru
Mathgamain mac Cennetig
(none known)
Strength
300 very few
Casualties and losses
none all either captured or killed

The Burning of Luimnech was the looting and destruction of the Viking stronghold of Limerick by the rising Dal gCais tribe of Munster. The Dal gCais were led by the two warrior brothers, Brian Boru and Mathgamain mac Cennetig while the Vikings had no type of official leadership. The king of the Vikings, Ivar of Limerick, and his troops had scattered into the woods of Tipperary a few hours before after a crushing defeat at the Battle of Sulcoit. In the Dal gCais' leader's notes he quoted, "The entire city was reduced to smoke and ash. Any man fit for war was killed and the rest were enslaved".

Background[edit]

Only a few hours before the Burning of Luimnech at the Battle of Sulcoit, the Vikings, led by Ivar of Limerick, were routed by the Dal gCais tribe of Munster. The Battle of Sulcoit was noted by Brian Boru and Mathgamain mac Cennetig as a total loss for the Vikings and was called the first great loss the Vikings of Limerick had faced. At Sulcoit many Vikings were killed by the Dal gCais and by mid day fled into the woods in Tipperary. This left the city of Limerick vulnerable attack by the Dal gCais.

Burning of Limerick[edit]

Near night time after the Battle of Sulcoit, Brian Boru's army of about 300 men attacked Limerick. The Dal gCais looted every type of structure in the city and burned it when they were done. Every structure in the city was either looted or burned to the ground. Brian Boru considered this payback against the Vikings because of his father's death at the hands of the Vikings. Anything with any type of value was stolen and any type of item with no value was either destroyed or burned. Brian's army killed every man in the village that was fit for battle and every woman and child was enslaved. By nightfall, every building in Limerick was reduced to smoke and ash and every person was either killed or enslaved by the Dal gCais.

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