Vikings Back in Dublin……. Blood will flow.
What a busy Easter weekend it has been, even with the extra day off work im still exhausted. After the Easter Egg Trail in Merrion square with the family, was time to pay a visit to the Viking festival in St. Anne’s Park, Raheney. Unfortunately the wife has no interest in such things and the three kids were worn out, so I did not get a chance to show them what their Daddy did for fun back in the day before I had to grow up and be responsible. I’m sure that I will get another chance. The event in the park was part of the Brian Boru Millenium Festival and was organised by the Dublin City Council and was probably the largest Re-enactment event I have ever seen in Ireland. Having been involved in re-enactment for a number of years this event was well organised and could compete with many of the big shows in the UK and further afield.
After been dropped of at the gate of the park I had to endure what felt like a ten mile walk to the staging area of the show. I was actually suprised at the sheer size of the event, it was definitely much larger than I had been expecting. The volume of spectators was also a bit overwhelming as I am not used to being on the civilian side at such events, but that’s the way it goes. So I started of on the outer part of the site, circling and moving inwards each time. There were re-enactors everywhere, from combatants to traders, blacksmiths, and crafter of all disciplines. Each tent or stall I stopped off at, was manned by genuinely authentic living history people. These guys once at a show will live, eat, sleep, fight, drink and sh$t living history. Everything you see will be the genuine article and historically correct. It is these people that the full credit for such a successful show must go too. I can say this because I know how much time, energy and money is given by each and every participant to be involved. So a big thank you to all the Living History/Re-enactors who came from far and wide to participate in the weekends festival.
If you still have no idea as to what I am talking about, then check out my recent post on The Battle of Clontarf which will explain everything. Continuing on the festival is a part of many events being held around Ireland this year to celebrate the Battle of Clontarf 1000 years ago. There was something to do for everyone at the event, with Viking Longboats, Archery, Coin minting, Birds of Prey, Archery, Smithing, not to mention the many stalls selling Viking jewellery, clothes, crafts and even weapons. For kids there were a number of workshops available were the could learn archery or even make their very own wooden sword and shield. There was far too much going on to see everything in the few hours I had to spend, but I did my best. The separate area for food, which I was badly in need of was seriously overcrowded and queuing would have taken over an hour, so I had a quick smoke instead and followed a few warriors back to the battle staging area. The crowds around the area sectioned off for the main event, being the re-enactment of The Battle of Clontarf was in most parts eight deep, so I was sure glad that I followed the Viking warriors to the field as I managed to get myself right up to the edge. Even with this I would have given my right arm for a good super zoom lense. With the battle field being so big I was difficult to get certain shots, but I hope that you like what I got.
The battle itself was fantastic and I had to use any remaining willpower I had left to drop the camera , grab a weapon and join in the foray. I am really missing my old re-enactment days at the moment, I guess its still in my blood. After the Viking hordes were well and truely defeated buy the Army led by Brian Boru, I did a quick circle of the site to make sure I did’nt miss anything. To my suprise I met an old friend whom I havent seen since the Celtic New Year celebrations last year at Tlachtga and Tara for Dark Moon Samhain. Con was also a member of my Re-enactment group back in the day, so it was great to see him still involved.