Brian Ború was born near Killaloe in 941 and is regarded as Ireland’s greatest High King . He was a member of the O’Brien dynasty and an ancestor of the Kings of Thomond. He was the youngest of 12 sons, and would become the 175th King of Ireland. In 1002, Brian was recognised as Ard Rí, High King of Ireland, thus ending the six hundred year reign of the Uí Néill’s of Ulster. He ruled from Kincora Castle in Killaloe instead of Cashel, thus making Killaloe the “Capital of Ireland “. After years of warfare, Brian devoted his mind to works of peace rebuilding monasteries that had been destroyed by the Danes and erecting bridges and fortresses all over the country as well as schools and colleges, and took measures for the repression of crime. In 1014, rivals clans in Leinster, the Ui Neill’s of Ulster and the Danish Vikings in Dublin gathered their forces in rebellion to Brian’s dominance. The bloody battle was fought at at Clontarf, Dublin and Brian although victorious, died on this day, Good Friday, 23 April 1014. There are many legends concerning how Brian was killed, from dying in a heroic man-to-man combat to being beheaded by a fleeing Viking mercenary. It is believed that he was an excellent harp musician and this instrument would become a symbol of peace and unity in Ireland in his memory. He is said to be buried in the grounds of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in the city of Armagh.
Brian Boru (941 – 1014 a.d) Ireland’s greatest High Kingemmet