The Viking age in Ireland started with coastal raids in 795 and ended early in the eleventh century. During the first phase the Vikings generally raided Irish monasteries and returned to Scandinavia with their booty. After 840 they began to settle, firstly in winter bases and later permanently, establishing towns at Dublin, Wexford, Waterford, Cork and Limerick. They were gradually integrated in the life of the country though they retained close contact with Viking settlements elsewhere. They took part in internal Irish wars culminating in the battle of Clontarf, 1014. They made Ireland a centre of European trade, introduced the use of money and had a great influence on art, language, folklore and placenames.

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