Dublin is a Viking city. They did not steal it, they made it.

The Vikings later established Wexford, Waterford, Cork and Limerick, all still important Irish cities. The Vikings, indeed, invented the Irish city. There was no urbanization before that.

The rest of Viking culture fared much more poorly; though they held Irish land for 200 years, there are few Viking words in the Irish language. Their religion, too, got submerged in Irish Christianity.

But the city, they introduced that.

Dublin was in fact an important trade port for the Vikings centrally located in their commercial-military zone (you couln't really call it an empire....)

The Vikings, besides settling in, also continued to raid and plunder Ireland. To be fair to them, the native Irish were also already doing the same to each other.

A favorite prospect was the monastery.

I can't find a record [so far] of a raid on the monastery at Kilkenny. The evidence of Christian burial predating the round-tower there shows that a monastery stood on the site. (The round towers generally date to the age of the Vikings, although the relationship of this concurrence is uncertain.)

Anyhow, the facts: there was a monastery (dated at ca. 500 BC.) It was on a river. The Viking town Waterford was only about 30 miles (50 km) downstream. I think you'd have to wait until the rain falls to take a boat up the River Nore — but you could do it.

But there's no physical evidence, as far as I know, of Vikings in Kilkenny, and no accounts of plunder that I've read about. It probably happened. They were here.

If they fail to leave conspicious record in Kilkenny, they make a gruesome reminder of who they were at Dunmore Cave, just north of Kilkenny City. This was the site of a massacre in 928, According to the Annals of the Four Great Masters, Vikings slaughtered women and children who'd gone into the cave for refuge. Having defeated their men, the Vikings reportedly lit a fire at the cave, murdering as many as a thousand.

While there's no verifying that number, several finds of skeletons date to that time.

Strangely, in Dunmore, there was also found a hoard of fine Viking items that dates to 940 (by evidence of coin.) Why a viking would stash valuables at the site of an earlier massacre, or why he never retrieved it, is a mystery.

The Vikings took over the Valkhof in Nijmegen in 880, and used it as a winter-quarters. The Valkhof was a castle that belonged to Charlemagne.


Karel de Grote