The Vikings in Ireland: The First Wave, 795 - 873.
The initial phase of Viking involvement in Ireland consisted of multiple “hit-and-run” type raids. Starting with the raid on the wealthy monastery of Lambay Island in 795, the Vikings began their plunder. Lambay lies just north of Dublin Bay, however, at this point there was no Dublin. Dublin would later be settled by Vikings in 841 as a longphort (a type of photo-settlement allowing safe harborage for raiding activities) during the second phase of Viking actions in Ireland.
The Vikings came in search of loot and treasure, of which monasteries sure had a lot of during the middle ages. However, they were not alone in this, “for native Irish raiders did not scruple or emulate [the Vikings’] example”(2). Irish society was unique from the rest of Christendom in that they were a fractured society familiar with tribal politics. Although these initial raids do shock the land, the people of Ireland were not estranged from violence and would eventually adapt as seen in the later Viking activities.
Some notable events….
795: Lambay 802: Iona (moves to Kells, 807 - Book of Kells) 812: Irish resistance 824: Bangor (bolder raids) 832: Armagh (several times) 835: Clonmacnoise 841: Longphort at Linn Dúachaill and Duiblinn 842: Viking participation in Irish conflicts
Haywood, John. “Vikings in Ireland I.” In The Penguin Historical Atlas of the Vikings. London: Penguin, 1995.
Killeen, Richard. “Vikings.” In A Brief History of Ireland: Land, People, and History. Running Press, 2012.
Dukes-Knight, Jennifer. “Vikings in Ireland.” Lecture, Viking History, University of South Florida, 2015.