Sitric Silkbeard

Sitric Silkbeard was the son of Óláfr Sigtryggsson (known as Amlaíb in Irish sources), Norse king of Dublin and York and Gormflaith ingen Murchada, who was Irish and a daughter of the King of Leinster.

It is thought that Sitric became king of Dublin in 989 and, despite being in regular conflict with various Irish kings over the years, he managed to stay in power until 1036.

Throughout the years, Sitric and his forces both supported and revolted Brian Boru’s attacks across Ireland. In 1014, Sitric and his uncle, Máel Mórda, rebelled so much against Brian that it led to the Battle of Clontarf. Sitric survived the battle but lost to Boru’s army.

Sitric apparently left Ireland in 1028 on a pilgrimage to Rome. The Irish Annals tell us that he then died over 15 years later in 1042.

There are several tours and spots in Dublin to discover more about Sitric and the Norse rule in Ireland, should you be intrigued to know more. View the itinerary below to find out more.

King Sitric's 2-Day Itinerary
Circa 970 AD

Born in Dublin

Sitric was born to a Norse king and Irish mother with sovereign heritage, so it was inevitable that he would eventually become a king.

989

Became King of Dublin

Sitric took over the throne from his father Óláfr Sigtryggsson and managed to hold the throne until 1036.

997

Attacks Kells and Clonard

In 997, Sitric attacks the monastic towns of Kells and Clonard in Meath as he continues his pursuit to become the King of Leinster.

999

The Battle of Glenmama

Sitric teams up with Máel Mórda mac Murchada (his uncle) to take on Brian Boru in the Battle of Glenmama. The pair are defeated with many of their army killed along the shores of the River Liffey.

999

Marries Sláine ingen Briain

Sitric is believed to have married Sláine ingen Briain, the daughter of Brian Boru in 999 following the Battle of Glenmama. This was seen as a move that would unite the Dublin and Munster forces following the recent battle. Sitric and Sláine had a son called Olaf.

1014

Battle of Clontarf

Sitric teamed up with Máel Mórda again to revolt against Brian Boru at the Battle of Clontarf. While Boru won the battle he would ultimately be killed (along with Máel Mórda), while Sitric managed to remain in power as the King of Dublin.

1028

Leaves for Rome

Sitric leaves Ireland to go on a pilgrimage to Rome.

1030

Founds Christ Church Cathedral

Upon his return to Dublin, Sitric is believed to have founded the original Viking church at Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin. This is the oldest building in Dublin, and was founded with Dúnán, the first Bishop of Dublin.

1042

Death of Sitric

Sitric is believed to have died in 1042 in exhile at an unknown location.

King Sitric's 2-Day Itinerary
King

Brian Boru

Ireland's most famous king, Brian Boru ended the High Kingship in Ireland and famously defeated the Vikings at Clontarf.

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Queen

Maeve

Recognised as the 'Warrior Queen of Connacht', Maeve is one of Ireland's most iconic historical characters, and arguably the most famous Queen.

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King

Niall of the Nine Hostages

The ancestor of the famous Uí Néill dynasty, some 3 million Irish people are believed to be descendants of Niall of the Nine Hostages.

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Queen

Grace O'Malley

The famous Pirate Queen, Grace O'Malley protected the west of Ireland from English attacks.

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King

Sitric Silkbeard

The Viking King of Dublin, Sitric was the son of Óláfr Sigtryggsson and Gormlaith.

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Queen

Gormlaith

The former wife of the great king Brian Boru, and mother to his rival, Sitric Silkbeard.

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King

Dermot MacMurrough

The King of Leinster, Dermot is responsible for the Anglo-Norman invasion and centuries of British Rule in Ireland.

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Queen

Aoife MacMurrough

Wife of Anglo-Norman warrior Strongbow, Aoife was the Princess of Leinster and daughter to King Dermot of Leinster.

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King

Conchobar MacNessa

A former King of Ulster, Conchobar was briefly married to Queen Maeve of Connacht.

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Queen

Máel Muire ingen Amlaíb

Believed to be the first Queen of Ireland of foreign or non-Celtic lineage.

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King

Rory O'Connor

The last King of Ireland and son of Turlough O'Connor, King of Connacht.

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