By Michael Farry
In 846 Maelseachlann 1 became king of Tara. In the same year a great Viking leader called Turgesius sailed up the Shannon. He plundered all the midlands and robbed everywhere he went. Maelseachlann and he had a great battle and Maelseachlann defeated and captured him Maelseachlann drowned him in Lough Owel near Mullingar. In 848 Maelseachlann defeated the Vikings of Dublin in a great battle at Skryne. Maelseachlann and his army killed 700 or more Vikings. In 849 Maelseachlann attacked and plundered the Vig city of Dub. He died in 862.
In 980 Maelseachnaill II became King of Tara. He had a lot to live up to because his ancestor Maelseachnaill I was a great warrior and had defeated the Vikings of Dublin many a time. Maelseachnaill II defeated the Vikings of Dublin with their allies the Vikings from Scotland at the battle of Tara. But he was not just fighting the Vikings he also had to fight fellow Irishman Brian Boru from Clare. They invaded each other’s territory time and time again. But they both knew they were getting nowhere for every time they attacked the other’s territory the enemy would promise to submit but by the time they got home again they had changed their minds! To solve this problem they halved Ireland, the southern half to Brian and the northern to Maelseachnaill. As time went by Brian got stronger. Maelseachnaill knew that Brian would be able to defeat him so he submitted and Brian was now the High King of all Ireland. To show this Brian marched all around Ireland. After some time the Irishmen of Leinster and the Vikings of Dublin rebelled against Brian. They got help from the Vikings of the Isle of Man and of Orkney. Brian asked Maelseachnaill to help and he said “Yes”. The two armies met at Clontarf near Dublin on Good Friday, 1014. Just before the battle Maelseachnaill had a row with Brian and left. Brian’s army was still strong enough to defeat the enemy. Brian and his son were both killed and so were many of the Vikings and Leinstermen. Maelseachnaill died in 1022. There is a statue of him on horseback beside the river Boyne in Trim.