(c. 775—845) viking leader

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(d. 845), a Viking chief who, according to the account of his activities in Cogadh Gáedhel re Gallaibh, caused havoc throughout Ireland: on arrival in Ireland he assumed overlordship of the Vikings there, took control of Armagh by banishing the abbot, and installed his wife Ota at Clonmacnoise; but justice was finally seen to be done when he was drowned in Lough Owel, Co. Westmeath, by Máel Sechnaill I (Malachy). The circumstances of his death apart, however, the account of his career given in Cogadh Gáedhel re Gallaibh has been described as a cleverly constructed fiction designed to highlight the remarkable nature of the Uí Briain (see dál cais) achievement in ridding Ireland of numerous such invaders.

From The Oxford Companion to Irish History in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: European History.

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