Scattery Island: Viking Invasions
Clare County Library
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The Vikings first raided Scattery in 816 killing many monks. They returned on another raid in 835. By 954 the Vikings (or Danes) of Limerick had established a community of their own on the island which lived in peaceful co-existence with the monastic one. In 974 the king-chieftain Magnus, son of Harold, plundered Scattery and captured Imar, one of the Vikings who had settled on Scattery after being driven out of Limerick in 968. Imar must have ransomed himself, or escaped, because he and his two sons were killed the following year, 975, when Brian Boru crossed from Thomond and slaughtered 600 to 800 people here. A Clonmacnoise chronicler claimed that Brian had violated the holy island by this raid and Brian himself may not have been too fussy over whether it was Viking of monastic plunder that filled his treasure chests. Brian returned in 990 to arrange the ransom of Maccoise Dobrain of Ross, who had been captured in a Viking raid. The Annals of Innisfallen mention that the island was attacked in 1057 by 'the foreigners of the son of Mael na Mbo'. These vikings were probably Dublin norsemen allied to Diarmaid Macmael na mBó, King of Leinster, who was helping Turlough O'Brien in his campaigns against Donnchadh Macbriain. In 1101 the Vikings of Magnus Barefoot, King of Norway, 'destroyed the island and took away many treasure and did many evil deeds'. The Limerick Vikings invaded Scattery in 1176 to reassert their authority over it. By now Norman influence was on the increase throughout the land and in 1179 William Howell laid the island waste. Richard de Clare plundered the area in 1318 before his defeat at the Battle of Dysert O'Dea. In the 'calender of close rolls' Matilda de Welle is recorded as claiming the advowsons of Bunratty, Quin and Scattery, as the sister and heir of Richard de Clare.


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Silver Brooches found at Scattery
Silver Brooches found at Scattery