Talk:Brian Boru

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There was never an "emperor" of Ireland. Please do not "sex up" history! Indeed the so-called "High King" is open to debate.

Untitled 2[edit]

Isn't the occasion of making the Vikings pay tribute still celebrated in Dublin as a sort of independence day? I'd put it in the article, but I don't remember the details sufficiently. -- April

It doesn't sound familiar, I'll try and check it out at some stage. Bernfarr

Emm, Not really. The driving out of the Danes is remembered, but not celebrated.. It's not a day of in and of itself.

Hello, I'm new to Wikipedia.

I have a suggestion for this page, but am not confident enough to edit it myself: What about adding some info about Brian Boru's family, like his parents, marriage(s), and children?[edit]

The user from who revised the page had his edits for Niall of the Nine Hostages revoked and the page marked with a possible copyright violation. The same web site with Niall of the Nine Hostages information seems to have been mined for this[1] article. I don't know what the status of the copyright is, but I'm reverting to the old version of this page until this all gets cleared up. --Ruy Lopez 10:02, 11 Jul 2004 (UTC)


I've made a start on cleaning up and wiki-fying/reformatting the article. The prose is rather thick, with some great Irish-isms "to be sure", which I've left in :). Some of the sentence structures were odd and I've fixed these. I've removed some of the stuff that was in parentheses as these bits really need to be put into different articles, and merged some stuff that was duplicated. I'm still not sure if the whole "History" section really belongs in this article at all. There is quite a bit of original research I suspect, but I'm not quite comfortable enough to remove it yet. I'd love to get some feedback. - FrancisTyers 23:55, 10 October 2005 (UTC)

Right, done a bit more tweaking, apologies for the "dramatic" subheadings, I'd gladly remove them, but I think they at least break up the piece a little (which sorely needs doing) and so they'll do for now. Its looking much more like a WP article now. Could do with sorting out some of the links, i'm sure some of them point to disambig pages. Also could probably do with some pictures, obviously a photo is out of the question, but perhaps a map of ireland in the history section showing exactly where he was fighting? Anyway thats all for now, comments welcome. - FrancisTyers 01:48, 11 October 2005 (UTC)
I started in, just for the sake of organisation (the subheading Royal Ascent was my first effort); then I read popular image, and after that history - which does have its place, but not there - and felt lost. See you later.shtove 22:46, 17 October 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for taking a look. Its a difficult one to clean up and I'd be glad of any help ;) If you think I've done something wrong please correct it, but if you look at my attempted cleanup [2], I hope you think most of it has been appropriate and that the article is at least in some way an improvement. If not, please do what you will :) - FrancisTyers 00:38, 18 October 2005 (UTC)
Um, if someone could verify dates for his life that would be great. I mention this because it says at the top of the page that he was probably born around 926 but later in the history section it says that he became King at 35 when his brother died in something like 976. Thanks!

I've removed the disputed tag as I don't think there is any real dispute on here at the moment. We simply have to find a reputable source and add Brian's date of birth, if known.--File Éireann 20:10, 19 November 2005 (UTC)

Encyclopaedia Brittanica states that he was born in 941. I think that until someone researches the issue further, it would be reasonable to accept 941 as per EB.--File Éireann 20:20, 19 November 2005 (UTC)

Edit: Hi, to whom ever wrote the 'Popular image' article I have a few questions. It seemed to me that in the 'Popular image' article you were trying to rufute something, and it is unclear to me as to what (If anything) you're trying to refute. If this is the case could you please clarify? And if the article is trying to rufute something could you please site your sources? Thanks. --PatickOg 05:38, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

Well, I don't know who made the 'popular image' article (Wasn't FrancisTyers, thanks for the clear up) but I think it should be removed. It doesn't seem to (Me) convey it's message very well. Also it seems to suggest that Boru had little if anyhting to do with the Vikings. We know he did because of the Battle of Clontarf and two norse works, Njal's Saga and the Orkneyinga Saga, which claim Earl Sigurd was at the battle and so was Brian Boru. Further more the Danes while they were absorbed in to the Irish Culture, the major absorption began after Clontarf. Again I suggest the 'popular image' be removed as it will likely clash with other articles as well as itself. That is unless the person who wrote it would like to present his sources. --PatickOg 07:04, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

The common practice in this case is to edit the page, cut the text and paste it onto the talk page with an explanation of why you have done this. You can refer to WP:CITE. - FrancisTyers 10:49, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
I believe the point of the popular image section is indeed to refute Brian Boru's popular image as a leader of the Gaelic resistance against the Vikings. A lot of what is mentioned therein seems to make perfect sense, except for the fact that references are needed. I wouldnt suggest removing it, however, but perhaps adding some sort of appropriate tag. Furthermore, it probably requires some editing. While it is likely true that Vikings were largely integrated into the Irish political scene, it is unlikely that antagonism between the Gaels and Norse didnt play at least *some* part in Boru's campaigns. Unfortunately, I really dont feel confident enough to medle in what seems like a reasonably good article. Druworos 11:39, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

The orthography of kings' names could do with being tidied up :- Mael Mordha would be better as Máelmórda mac Murchada, Mathgamain Mathgamain mac Cennetíg, Mael Muad Máelmuad mac Brain, Mael Sechlainn mac Domnall II Máelsechlainn mac Domnaill, and so on, all matching Byrne's usages in Irish Kings and High-Kings. Patronymics don't need repeating after the first mention unless there's a need to disambiguate. I'd also suggest unlinking them. Anyone who writes an article on them can always use Google to find which pages need links adding (but only if there's some sort of standardisation in the usages). Angus McLellan 13:47, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

To Druworos. I've been reading more about Brain Boru and this subject. I will admit his image as the king who freed the Irish from the Norse is largely over blown. But I would point out that not only does the subject in question seem confusing by being placed outside the articles about Brian's life and rule but also seems to conflict with the rest of the page. It can only help but confuse the reader instead of giving him a constant, flowing, and informative read. Until I can say whether or not the "Popular Image" article is true or not I won't delete it, I'm either going to try and join the the articles or perhaps add to "Popular Image" so it sounds less opposing to the rest of the page. --PatickOg 09:26, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

Queen mother[edit]

What's this I hear about the british queen mother being a descendant of Brian Boru? Superdude99 20:08, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

Date of Birth[edit]

I just noted the possibility he was born in 926 in the article. I originally learned of this from the French Larousse Encyclopedic Dictionary, ed 1964 ... When I later saw all sources quoting 941, I thought it was a mistake on Larousse's part, or maybe science had evolved since... but I just saw in again on, meaning there's a set of sources still clinging to 926... if anybody can get definitive data on the matter, I'd like to see all this cleaned up. --Svartalf 19:13, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

Brian Boru's Cultural Heritage[edit]

I have recently purchased a book about Brian Boru, his family, and his descendants. I saw the entry on wikipedia about the Kennedy family being descendants of Boru through a son named Cennetig. According to this book, which is probably the most accurate book about the O'Brien Clan out there, Brian's sons were named: Murrough, Conor, Flan, Teige, Donald, and Donough. Brian's father, however, was named Cennetig, and it is thought that some Kennedy clans are descended from Cennetig through some of Brian Boru's brothers. There are a number of non-O'Brien surnames descended from Brian. On the O'Brien Clan website, Kennedy is not listed as one. And this is understandable because I do not think a descendant of Brian Boru would take a pre-Boru ancestor's name as their own surname. I have read also that the American Kennedy family is descended from the Scottish Kennedy clan and is not affiliated with the Dalcassian Kennedy family. But I did not want to edit that entry in case anybody had any differing information from what I have. -- From what i recall, the Kennedy family are descended from one of Brian's nephews who was called Cennetig. -Paul

Remembrance in modern times[edit]

Some days ago, somebody removed the sections about trivia and modern culture references to Brian. I've reinstated them until discussion can take place to see just why they should be removed in the first place. Granted, the bits gathered there are trivial, but they show that King Brian is not forgotten. Also, the fact that the harp kept at Trinity College is generally named after him, or the existence of a piece of music bearing his name are worth mentioning, all the more so as there are no specific articles on them. The Brian Boru Harp is subsumed in the emblems of Ireland, and while the March is famous and well known, I don't know if enough is known about it to make an independent article, I sure could not even wring a stub's worth out of what I know without going into baseless conjectures. So mentioning the piece under the eponym seems the best solution. --Svartalf 02:18, 18 October 2006

MYname is brian mattix and I really am intested in this you should look at this I was so into this you really need to look at this I am still looking at this-- (talk) 17:06, 19 March 2009 (UTC)-- (talk) 17:06, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

Alfred the Great[edit]

I would like it noted that the burgeoning victories of Brian Boru against the Norse Vikings in the late 10th century are simultaneous with the burgeoning victories of Aelfred the Great of Wessex against the Norse Vikings in the late 10th century. That is, in the years leading up to 1000 CE, both the Christian Irish and the Christian Anglo-Saxons began emerging from Norse Viking subjugation. I believe it is obvious that there is at least indirect relation here — at the minimum, by 1000 CE, the Vikings were in decline and the long suppressed Celtic-Christian kingdoms of Ireland and England began re-emerging. But I also believe it is possible that there was some direct relation between Brian Boru and his contemporary colleague, and de facto ally, Aelfred the Great of Wessex. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs).

Alfred the Great died in 899. For most of his reign the "High King of Ireland" was Flann Sinna. Angus McLellan (Talk) 15:37, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

subjugation? erin was not East Anglia —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:37, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

Section "Historical View" unhistorical[edit]

That section is written so as to suggest that the presence of the Norse in Ireland at the time of Brian Boru was equivalent to that of English footballers on holiday - rowdy tourists with knives or swords. However given that the Norse had already conquered significant areas of England, Scotland, France and Russia it seems incongruous and less than credible to imply that they had no comparable penetration of Ireland.

If you check any of these articles by Donnchadh Ó Corrain you will see support from a significant Irish historian for the view that the Norse indeed never did succeed in conquering Ireland.
Further, that "the Norse had already conquered significant areas of England, Scotland, France and Russia" is quite an exaggeration I'm afraid. Finnrind 17:55, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

"less than credible to imply that they had no comparable penetration of Ireland. " no it's not —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:41, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

References in popular culture[edit]

New too this Wiki thing but i read in the paper a couple of month ago that a film was to be made about Brian Boru's life or the battle of Clontarf, cant remember which. Does anyone think this should be included in the popular culture or even Trivia section? Dont know enough about the film to write it, dont even think filiming started yet, but should it make a mention?? James153.96.50.65 09:52, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

First, welcome to Wikipedia, James! If the film's pretty well certain to go ahead and it's expected to be a major film, then yes, there should definitely be a mention in the "In Popular Culture" section. And if you can find out about it, it would certainly be helpful. The only thing to be concerned about is whether the film is going to happen, because as you may know sometimes films are proposed (and even half-made) but never actually arrive. I'm pointing this out because there's a policy on Wikipedia that future events should only be included if they are almost certain to go ahead - see WP:CRYSTAL. Cheers, A bit iffy 10:18, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
I've been having second thoughts... That WP:Crystal policy really concerns articles about future events, and doesn't really concern a sentence or two within an article. However, we obviously shouldn't have pure speculation within any article (this is an encyclopaedia, after all). I have done some Googling on Brian Boru films and I see there are many suggestions that Sean Penn will be making a film on Boru. If you or anyone can find something a bit firmer about this, then perhaps it's still worth mentioning. --A bit iffy 11:08, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

Not too sure about Sean Penn, when i read the article in the paper, it mentioned either Christian Bale or Leo DiCaprio playin Boru. Im not too sure if it is going ahead (it was only a small article with not alot of details) but i'll check!! James 08:38, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

Sean Penn? Brian Borjew lol —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:43, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

Unsourced material[edit]

The following is unsourced information:

  • A major motion picture film surrounding the life of Brian Boru is scheduled to be filmed in 2008 and released in 2009. The film will be entirely shot in Ireland and directed by Cork native Mark Mahon, from an award-winning script he wrote called, "Freedom Within the Heart". American actor, Leonardo DiCaprio is attached to play Brian Boru.
  • Three Floyds Brewing Co. makes a beer named Brian Boru Old Irish Red.

While this is interesting, we can't use it unless you provide a source. Also, none of this is really trivia, as trivia by its definition is "unimportant information" - it therefore shouldn't be in a trivia section but instead the information should be incorporated into the main article. - Tbsdy lives (talk) 10:52, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

Most of the article lacks inline citations. You're right, this is not trivia, but the Star Trek BS and bands nobody has ever heard of that you left in the article is.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 13:19, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

Name of this article[edit]

I've got no strong opinion on Brian Boru vs Brian Bóruma as the correct name for Wikipedia in English, but could the good editors please 1) Discuss page moves before doing them, and 2) make sure that there is consistency between the name of the article and the name used in the article. Right now the article is called Brian Boru while the name bolded in heading& used in the infobox is Brian Bóruma. Thanks, Finn Rindahl (talk) 18:06, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

They are editing with good intentions, but I feel I have to oppose those editors who try to over simplify and popularize articles on dynasts and aristocratic families. In my opinion it does the public a disservice. "Boru" is his standard epithet in all the popular and "feel good" literature out there, and is rarely used by academics. DinDraithou (talk) 18:25, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
The article title is Brian Boru. If you want to move it, you will need, at the least, to follow the procedure at Requested Moves. Please don't move it again out of process. BastunĖġáḍβáś₮ŭŃ! 18:24, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
(Edit to add: Moving into already created section - didn't notice it before I posted.)
It doesn't work that way. The title of the article was Brian Bóruma for quite some time before recently restored to the unacademic Brian Boru. DinDraithou (talk) 18:34, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
(after edit conflict) @Din: So - everyone is agreed that Brian Boru is the WP:COMMONNAME, then? Grand, so.
@Finn: Changed the intro and infobox. BastunĖġáḍβáś₮ŭŃ! 18:36, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
Not exactly. Even in popular literature Bóruma is frequently given in parentheses or as the more proper form. The problem is that it is not merely a standard translation like "Niall of the Nine Hostages" or "Conn of the Hundred Battles", but is an anglicized and reduced form of the Irish, basically a vulgar form. WP articles on medieval Gaels do not do this. DinDraithou (talk) 18:55, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
And... you've moved it again. Din, we have policies here. One of these is for Requested moves. Another is for edit warring. Consider this a warning that you may be in breach of the three-revert rule if you move the page again. And according this, it seems you only moved to the page to the "academic" spelling on 17th January. Hardly "quite some time" - but in any case, out of process. BastunĖġáḍβáś₮ŭŃ! 18:46, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
Your warning is quite inappropriate, as is this nonsense about process. One problem is that we aren't yet sourced here and the article needs serious cleaning up. DinDraithou (talk) 18:55, 23 February 2010 (UTC), I posted here mainly to try to avvoid this development, sad to see that didn't work out. Please do not move this article again without due process/discussion. Much as I sympatise with DinDraithou on having correct academic names, that's not necessarily the way things are being done at this project. Discussion first - the conlusion is anyhow the way these things should be sorted out. So let's try discussing first? Finn Rindahl (talk) 19:27, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
Probably I would have ignored the restoration of the vulgar form had not your posting here on the talk page drawn me to investigate. It was when I saw that that Bóruma had also been replaced in the infobox and Brian Bóruma mac Cennétig removed from the start of the text that I decided to do something. The removal of his "academic name" was very un-Wikipedia and so you can probably guess what I judged it to be. DinDraithou (talk) 19:39, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
Barbs aside, Din, I admit I'm not an academic, but I've never come across the spelling "Bóruma" before. The policy for article names is clear, though - WP:COMMONNAME. And "Boru" is the common name in English. BastunĖġáḍβáś₮ŭŃ! 20:19, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
The first place I'd look for biographies of dead Irish people says Bóruma. The article in the previous DNB starts out [simplified slightly] "BRIAN (926-1014), king of Ireland, known in Irish as Brian Boroimhe, Boroma, most commonly earlier books as Brian mac Cennedigh, and in English writings as Bryan mac Kennedy or Brian Boru...". At least that's comprehensive, and indeed rather better than the way this starts. But probably everything about the DNB article is better than this one. Only 1500-odd days left until the millennary anniversary of your man here's death if anybody fancies this as TFA for 23 April 2014. Angus McLellan (Talk) 21:00, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

I undid DinDraithou's earlier (undiscussed) alternation of the title for two reasons. (1) the common name of this person, including in Ireland, is Brian Boru. (2) This is the English language Wikipedia, we're not here to teach people Gaeilge, especially at the cost of losing the by far best known name of a historical figure (perhaps the most notable in Irish history). It wreaks of obscurantist tokenism. Crusty academia, or no crusty academia—this man's most recognisable name is Brian Boru. - Yorkshirian (talk) 22:30, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

Indeed. Usual Googlehits caveats apply, but 10,600 versus 334,000 is hard to argue with. BastunĖġáḍβáś₮ŭŃ! 22:42, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
Your man here has no "English name" or "Irish name", he's called Brian in both languages. Arguably the article could just as well be Brian since nobody else is just-Brian. Unless you want to quibble over translating "mac", which would be rather odd, adding his patronymic gives the same result in both languages: Brian mac Cennétig. It's only that there's an epithet that comes in various forms: Middle Irish, modern Irish, English. Starting the article "Brian (died 23 April 1014) variants..." more or less like the DNB editors did all those years ago will be the best solution whatever the article is called because anything else guarantees that we'll be reverting people who think that some elegant variation was needed and wouldn't it be great to call him "Boru", or "Bóruma", or whatever else, every now and again.
I really don't want to argue about the article name, but has anyone read Wikipedia:Article titles? Where do Google hits come into anything? If you try Google books and try to sort out Victorian tat and irrelevancies, the differences are actually not huge Any book that doesn't have Brian and Máel Sechnaill appearing together on the same page at least once isn't even worth considering as a "reliable source", so let's use him as the control. The results are: Brian Boru 183; Brian Boruma 131; Brian Boroma 18; Brian Boroimhe 32. Your mileage may vary. Angus McLellan (Talk) 23:30, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
I'm Brian! And so is my wife! Wikipedia:Article titles says to use "Recognizable – Using names and terms most commonly used in reliable sources, and so most likely to be recognized, for the topic of the article." and "Easy to find – Using names and terms that readers are most likely to look for in order to find the article (and to which editors will most naturally link from other articles)." Ok, possibly scholars and academics may use some variation of Brian Boruma more often - but for the vast majority of readers and editors, they'll be looking for, or linking to, Brian Boru. BastunĖġáḍβáś₮ŭŃ! 01:20, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

Sources for this article and other ruminations[edit]

The currently listed secondary sources seem like the obvious material to be using here. Presumably Byrne's Irish Kings, Ó Cróinín's Early Medieval Ireland, plus the RIA history, will be useful for background. I'm not sure what else is going to help here. Given that Brian will be given a passing mention in a million and one books and articles, it presumably makes sense to try and keep the number of works cited under control.

So does anyone have a view on other useful sources?

Under "further reading", removing Ireland before the Normans, we have:

  • MacShamhráin, Ailbhe (2001). "The Battle of Glenn Máma, Dublin and the High-Kingship of Ireland: A Millennial Commemoration". In Seán Duffy. Medieval Dublin II. Dublin: Four Courts Press. pp. 53–64. 
  • Newman, Roger Chatterton (1983). Brian Boru: King of Ireland. Dublin: Anvil Books. 
  • O'Brien, Donough (1949). History of the O'Briens from Brian Boroimhe, A.D. 1000 to A.D. 1945. B. T. Batsford. 
  • Ryan, John (1967). "Brian Boruma, King of Ireland". In Etienne Rynne (ed.). North Munster Studies. Limerick: Thomond Archaeological Society. pp. 355–374. 

Anyone read those? Presumably the MacShamhráin and Ryan articles merit inclusion, but the other two may not. Is Kelleher's "Rise of the Dál Cais" likely to be useful? How about Gwynne's "Brian in Armagh"? MacShamhráin's "Brian Bóruma, Armagh and High Kingship"?

One area where Ní Mhaonaigh's book seemed rather feeble was in covering Brian's afterlife. She mentioned the Cogadh and a couple of poems, and that was about it. But presumably myth-making didn't stop then. What about Keating and the Ó Cléirighs? Is Morgan Llywelyn the only person to have written a novel about Brian? No Yeats or Ferguson poems that I know of, but surely that doesn't mean no poems at all? What about plays, films, TV series, radio shows? Either we have a proper section on posthumous representations, complete with citations, or we have a dreadful "in popular culture" list of cruft and random bollocks. My current favourite is: 'In "Strapping Young Lads" by Brian Dunning, Brunnhilde claimed to have killed Boru in single combat, and "torn his still-beating heart from his breast."' What the fuck is that about? And the rest is little better. Angus McLellan (Talk) 17:45, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

Hi Angus. Guilty as charged, I'm responsible for listing those works there, except for that book by Donough O'Brien. Most of the encyclopedias that have popped up in recent years - Duffy's Medieval Ireland, Koch's Celtic Culture, and of course the online Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and Dictionary of Irish Biography - contain general, up-to-date entries that should be useful enough for general/superficial purposes: e.g. to replace some unreferenced and outdated bits and probably to serve as a sort of guide and structural framework. Some of these recommend the following journal articles for further reading:
(Haven't compared it to Ireland before the Vikings though)
  • Etchingham, Colmán (2001). "North Wales, Ireland and the Isles: the Insular Viking zone". Peritia. 15: 145–87. 
  • Gwynn, Aubrey (1978). "Brian in Armagh (1005)". Seanchas Ard Mhacha. 9:1: 35–50. 
i.e. about Brian's visit(s) to Armagh, to which this is a fairly recent and full response:
  • MacShamhráin, Ailbhe (2005). "Brian Borúma, Armagh and High Kingship". Seanchas Ardmhacha. 20.2: 1–21. 
As for Brian's reputation in later Irish tradition, nothing major springs to mind apart from Cogad or the Norse sagas. ODNB refers to the Brut y Tywysogion and a poem discussed by Simms in the journal Dál gCais, to which I don't have access. There's an article by Clare Downham ("The Battle of Clontarf in Irish History and Legend"), but it was published in that popular magazine History Ireland. She does discuss some of the later stuff though, like the 17th-century Cath Chluana Tarbh ("The Battle of Clontarf") and Keating's magnum opus. Cavila (talk) 20:30, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
I've downloaded and read Downham's paper which was quite fun.
For more modern times, some aimless googling tells me that one of the usual suspects wrote a "folk-history" play (you'd pay to see one of those I'm sure) which features Brian (Kincora, 1905). There's even some academic analysis of it on JSTOR. And, contrary to my first guess, W. B. Yeats did write about Brian, almost, in The Grey Rock. Evidently my knowledge of Yeats' œuvre is rather less profound than I had imagined. Richard Brinsley Sheridan's not-so-famous famous cousin James Sheridan Knowles wrote a play about Brian, Brian Boroimhe, or The Maid of Erin (1811), popular in the US with expatriates. Apparently it was based on a lost play by one Daniel O'Meara, first performed in 1810. Then there's Brian the Brave by Richard Butler (Richard Butler (author) perhaps?). All we're missing is G. A. Henty.
Since I came across this broad, but oh-so-shallow, knowledge of the subject by reading snippets on google books there's clearly something can be said, although what it is will probably escape a complete philistine like me. This exercise in ignorance gathering should be repeatable for painting and sculpture. And perhaps even for less exalted forms of representation too? C19th Scottish decoration didn't run much beyond "wally dogs" (surely an article waiting to be written there, along with those ducks that fly across the chimney breast and the snooty cats that sat on the mantlepiece), but since "folk-history" was popular in Ireland, and among Irish expats, there may even be plaster saintsBrians to be considered here. And we can also leave Brian the advertising symbol for another day. He's likely to have been doing his bit to sell Irish stuff long before anyone thought to slap his name on a vodka bottle.
My ignorance of this subject is getting vaster by the minute. I think I had better stop now before I discover that I don't know anything at all. Angus McLellan (Talk) 21:52, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
Haha, Angus - you gave me a link to Downhams paper way back in 2007, I sort of thought you had read it before recommending it ;) To add to those sources listed above, Sean Duffy discusses the post-Brian/Clontarf traditions in
  • Duffy, Sean (2009), "Ireland, c.1000–c.1100", in Stafford, Pauline, A Companion to the Early Middle Ages: Britain and Ireland, c.500–c.1100, Blackwell Publishing Ltd, pp. 285–302, ISBN 978-1-405-10628-3 
There are three sub chapters, pp.285-290 "Clontarf in Irish Tradition", "Debunking the “Myth” of Clontarf" and "Clontarf’s External Aspect". If anyone's interested I can provide it as pdf. Finn Rindahl (talk) 20:24, 22 March 2010 (UTC)

...or more usually Brian Ború[edit]

The lead now says (English: Brian Boru, Irish: Brian Bórumha, Brian Bóroimhe, or more usually Brian Ború) - I don't speak Gaelic, but is Ború really the more usuallly used Gaelic name? And why is this spelling of the name in bold? Finn Rindahl (talk) 16:51, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

In my experience - yes. In fact, I've never encountered the two other Irish forms in common use, whereas the 'Ború' form is quite common in business names, etc. It's in bold because it's in the lead sentence. BastunĖġáḍβáś₮ŭŃ! 17:43, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
Shouldn't we distinguish Modern and Middle Irish? Something like: '''Brian mac Cennétig''' called '''Brian Boru''' ([[Middle Irish]]: {{lang|mga|Brian Bóruma}}; [[Modern Irish]]: {{lang|ga|Brian Bóroimhe}})...? I don't follow you at all on the bolding. Angus McLellan (Talk) 18:17, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
The article title is 'Brian Boru', so it's first occurrence within the article should be bolded, shouldn't it (with or without the fada)? Just to note, to my mind, 'Brian Ború' is the modern Irish. BastunĖġáḍβáś₮ŭŃ! 19:08, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
Err, the first occurrence in the text is presently here {{lang-en|Brian Boru}} - so that's the one that should be bolded following Bastuns rationale (would still look a bit strange, but I will not oppose it :). Distinguishing between variuos form of Irish/Gaelic would be helpful to non-gaelic speakers like myself (and most others). A different point: is it really necessary to list both Brian Bóruma and Brian Bórumha - I expect the first is Irish as well? Finn Rindahl (talk) 21:35, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
Hmm, you're right on the bolding. Will change it now. BastunĖġáḍβáś₮ŭŃ! 00:11, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
"Ború" is not Irish. It's the anglicised form spelt phonetically with a síneadh fada.Murchadh (talk) 22:11, 23 August 2010 (UTC)

The Irish assimilated the Vikings?[edit]

Just seen this in the article and it makes me laugh everytime i see it. Did the Irish assimilate the Vikings or did the Vikings assimilate themselves into Irish culture? I'd say it was the conscious choice of the Vikings and not from any pressure from the Irish. The Vikings wherever they went assimilated with the local populations - in Scotland, England, the Western Isles, Normandy, Kiev and Constantinople. The off-shoot of the Vikings, the Normans where exactly the same. The Irish didn't assimilate them, they made themselves "more Irish than the Irish themselves" just like they did in southern Italy where they became just as "Italian as the Italians themselves".Mabuska (talk) 23:18, 21 March 2010 (UTC)

You might enjoy the career of the Cotter family, the only family of Norse origin in Ireland to retain a small amount of their original identity into modern times, because they lived in a fairly remote region and apparently retained some wealth and foreign connections, and most importantly some noble stature. The rest, except in one or two partial cases, eventually left or fell under. The Cotters claim to be descendants of, but are in any case clearly related to, one of the last Kings of Dublin, namely Óttar of Dublin. They are also, incidentally, probably unrelated, except through the inevitable intermarriage, to the Uí Ímair with whom Brian and his family were dealing. DinDraithou (talk) 19:57, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

Morough O Brien[edit]

It would be interesting to know if Collins says more about this Morough (Murchad) O'Brien. If he was Brians son his name, even when anglisized, should be mac Brian. Is it possible that this is Brians (and Gormflaiths) grandson Murchad mac Donnchad Ua Briain (d.1068)? All other sources I remember seeing ahs Mór as the mother og Brians son Murchad. Best regards, Finn Rindahl (talk) 12:45, 25 April 2013 (UTC)

There are two possible explanations. First, as you imply, it may be the grandson. I will check whether the dates (some of which are not listed and one of which is wrong) support the grandson hypothesis. Second, the author may be English rather than Scottish or Irish and so not know what the rules for Gaelic names are. Robert McClenon (talk) 19:31, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
I've removed the reference to Collins. He listed the date of death of Brian Boru as Good Friday, 1039. Since the battle is well recorded to have been Irish Good Friday, 1014, I have concluded that he is not a reliable source. Robert McClenon (talk) 17:09, 4 May 2013 (UTC)

Old Question about Queen Mother Elizabeth[edit]

A question was asked in 2006 whether the late Queen Mother Elizabeth was descended from Brien Boru. The answer is "probably", due to the family tree paradox. The paradox is that as time goes back, the number of ancestors increases, but the population of the world or the region decreases. As a result, if one goes back a thousand years, it is highly probable that any person with ancestry in a given region is descended from any person in that region who had descendants. It is probable that a twentieth-century Scottish noblewoman with a well-documented family tree would be able to trace descent from a late historical High King of Ireland. Robert McClenon (talk) 19:37, 25 April 2013 (UTC)

Detail: you will loose ancestors when already related people marry each other. That loss can be quite significant, especially among nobility. The Banner talk 20:49, 4 May 2013 (UTC)
You will always lose ancestors at some point due to intermarriage. It is true that it is more common among nobility. However, Brian Boru is 31 generations back, and 31 generations back, the calculated number of ancestors is 2,147,483,648, but the population of the world was less than one billion. Therefore there will always have been intermarriages. It is correct that if nobility marry other nobility, there are only thousands or tens of thousands of nobility, and that tree collapses sooner. As a result of the tree paradox, if someone had ancestors, then anyone from that region of the world will probably be descended from them. Nearly everyone in the British Isles will be descended from Brian Boru. Robert McClenon (talk) 21:40, 4 May 2013 (UTC)

Inconsistency re Tadc's parentage[edit]

"Brian's first wife was Mór, daughter of the king of Uí Fiachrach Aidne of Connacht. She is said to have been the mother of his sons Murchad, Conchobar and Flann. Later genealogies claimed that these sons left no descendants, although in fact Murchad's son Tadc is recorded as being killed at Clontarf along with his father and grandfather.[12]

Echrad daughter of the king of Uí Áeda Odba, an obscure branch of the southern Uí Néill, was the mother of Tadc, whose son Toirdelbach and grandson Muirchertach rivalled Brian in power and fame.[13]"

The first paragraph indicates that Tadc was a son of Murchad (grandson of Brian Boru); the second indicates he was the son of Brian Boru by Echrad. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:10, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

They appear to be different men with the same name. The first you noted is Tadc, son of Murchad, son of Brian (or in Gaelic Tadc mac Murchada meic Briain). The second is Tadc son of Briain (Tadc mac Briain). I've changed the second sentence to make this clearer ("...was the mother of Brian's son Tadc, whose son Toirdelbach..."). How's that?--Brianann MacAmhlaidh (talk) 01:22, 29 April 2015 (UTC)


While reading through the 'Battle of Clontarf' section of this article I found this sentence to be quite funny:

"All of the accounts state that the Battle of Clontarf lasted all day. This may be an exaggeration, or it may suggest a long-drawn-out fight."

Quite! Can I suggest that if someone were to edit it to say "All of the accounts state that the Battle of Clontarf lasted all day. This may be an exaggeration, or it may suggest that the Battle of Clontarf lasted all day" it would be even funnier? Thanks. - DropShadow (talk) 12:43, 6 November 2015 (UTC)

While it is funny, it appears to be WP:OR since it is speculation on the part of the editor, and not from any reliable published source. Lizard (talk) 15:50, 21 March 2016 (UTC)