Without him, all of you would be lost souls roamin
- Feb 23, 2005
I decided to look up my last name (Doyle) online and found out the awesome history of the Doyle Clan:
I am truly the Interweb Viking.
At dusk on a summer’s evening in the year 795 AD, a sinister looking high-prowed ship ploughed into the sands at Lambay Island just north of Howth Head on the east coast of Ireland near Dublin. Immediately from the body of the Longboat, the oarsmen rushed to attack the monastery of Saint Columkill. They slaughtered the monks, plundered the monastery for for all the gold and silver vessels they could find, and then disappeared back into the Irish Sea. The Irish Annalists, referring to the incident, describe the unwelcome arrivals as "dubh-ghaill".
The first "Doyles" had arrived in Ireland!
This was the beginning of more than two centuries of attack and invasion which had devastating effect on Ireland, and on the Irish monasteries in particular.
Viking (from the Old Norse Vikingr) means "sea-rover" or "pirate", and this precisely what these people were. Ethnically, they were Teutons, Danish, Swedish and Norwegain farmers, fisherman and sea-merchants, who were forced onto the open sea in search of a livelihood by over-population and a shortage of arable land at home. From the eighth century, their plundering raids terrorized much of the known world, reaching as far as America, North Africa and Constantinople.
Members of Clan Doyle /Clann O DubhGhaill ("Dubh-Ghaill" ... pronounced "Du-Gall") take their family surname from the Irish Gaelic words meaning "Dark/Evil Foreigner"; and this is just what the indigenous Celts called the Danish Vikings who started settling in Ireland and Scotland more than 1,000 years ago.
In Ireland, the annalists distinguished two groups among the raiding Vikings, the Lochlainn, or Norwegians, and the Danair, or Danes, the Norwegians being described as fair, the Danish as dark (because they wore chain-mail armour). Initially, the Norwegians dominated, and their raids were sporadic and unsystematic. From about 830, however a new phase of large-scale attacks, involving the use of fleets of long-ships, began, and the Vikings penetrated deep inland though the use of rivers and lakes. Attracted by the wealth of the monasteries and churches they plundered them steadily. From this period date the first Vikings' fortified settlements. In 852, the Danes wrested control of one of these settlements, the military and trading post of Dublin, from the Norwegians under their king Olaf (in Irish Amlaoimh), and founded the Danish Kingdom of Dublin which was to last three hundred years, until the coming of the Anglo-Normans.
For the next 100 years, up to the middle of the tenth century, the Vikings consolidated and extended their power though unremitting aggression. From about 950 on, however, the east Clare Gaelic sept of the Dal Cais began its rise to power, capturing first the Kingship of Munster from the Eoganachta and then, with Brian Boru, taking the high-kingship of Ireland from the Ui Neill in 1002. Brian fused the disparate Gaelic forces together with some renegade Vikings into a single confederate army, and stopped the combined might of of the Norwegian and Danish forces in the battle of Clontarf on April 23 1014, neutralising the power of the Vikings permanently.
Although their political power declined after this, as a people the Vikings were soon thoroughly absorbed into the religious and political life of the country, adopting the Irish language and the Irish customs, intermarrying and intermingling.
I am truly the Interweb Viking.