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 Episode 14 see Gaelic Ireland struggle to deal with the crisis and chaos that followed the death of the high king Maelseachnaill Mac Domnaill. This podcast journeys through a highly uncertain world where war was frequent and life had little value as several kings battled to control the island. We will see many try and emulate the great high kings including the most famous Diarmait Mc Mael na mBó the king of Leinster. This show also includes a close look at the strange place that was Viking Dublin and the unknown history of the Gaelic Irish reaction to the norman invasion of England in 1066.

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The Man who would be King

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Places mentioned in the podcast

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List of Characters (spoiler alert)

Maelseachnaill Mac Domnaill. The king of the Southern Ui Neill kingdom and highking between 980 and 1002 and again between 1014 and 1022. He died in 1022 and was succeeded by his son Maelseachnaill Gott

Maelseachnaill Gott Son of Maelseachnaill (above). While he succeeded his father as king of Meath in 1022 he was never able to dominate the island like Maelseachnaill did. He was died in 1025.

Flaithbertach Ua Neill. King of the Northern Ui Neill. He succeeded the throne in 1004 when his uncle Aedh died. His father was Muirchertach, son of Domnall Ua Neil the high king who abdicated in 980, his mother was a bondswoman called Cres. He resisted Brian Boru’s atttempt to conquer the North until 1008. He revolted in 1012. He did not participate in the battle of Clontarf in 1014 but supported Maelseachnaill as High King in 1015. He may have revolted again in 1018. He went on a pilgrimmage to Rome in 1030 dying in 1036.

Donnchad Mac Briain. One of Brian Boru’s younger sons who rose to power when Brian and his older son Murchad were killed at Clontarf. He faced huge internal opposition having to resort to fratricide to maintain power when in 1023 he killed his half brother Tadc. He was generally a weak king eventually losing power in 1064.

Turlough Uí Briain. Grandson of Brian Boru. His father Tadc was assassinated by Donnchad (above) in 1023. 30 years later Turlough began a civil war against Donnchad.

Donnchad Mac Dulaing. King of Leinster until 1037 when he was captured and killed by the king of Ossory Giolla Patraic.

Donnchad Mac Giolla Patraic. King of Ossory who was quite powerful in the post Clontarf environement. He became king of Leinster in 1037 but died suddenly in 1039.

Uí Dulaing Mac Donnchad. Son of Donnchad Mc Dulaing above. Ruled Leinster for 3 years between 1039 – 1042

Diarmait Mac Mael na mBó was the king of the Ui Chinnselaig family of South Leinster. He rose to power when his father died in 1032, solidfying his rule he controlled Viking Waterford by 1037. In 1041 he was decisively beaten by Donnchad Mac Briain and Ui Dulaing Mac Donnchad which saw Ferns burned. He became king of Leinster in 1042, capturing Dublin in 1052. He effectively installed Turlough Ui Briain as King of Munster in 1064, and took tribute from the Isle of Man. When he died he was called a high king with opposition which a good illustration of the change in power in Ireland as no king would dominate Ireland like Brian Boru or Maelseachnaill had.

Harold Godwinson Anglo Saxon Earl who was exiled to Ireland in 1051. He left in 1052 and became the last Saxon king of England in January 1066 when Edward the Confessor died. He faced and invasion by Harald Hardradra the King of Norway but defeated the Norwegians and killed their king at the battle of Stamford bridge. A  few days later he faced a second invasion lead by the Duke of Normandy William “the Bastard”. Harald faced William at Hastings where he was defeated and killed. His family was despersed across Europe and two sons Godwin and Edwin and a cousin Tostig fled to Dublin. There with Diarmiat Mac Mael na mBó they planned attacks on Norman England in 1068 and 1069 which ultimately failed.

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