Irish Christmas tales: the Viking attacks on the monasteries of Glendalough and Clonmore
Irish History From The Annals




On Christmas night in the year 835 the Vikings raided two of the great monasteries of Ireland; the monastery of St. Kevin at Glendalough and the monastery of St. Mogue at Clonmore.

Christmas in Ireland was not always a time of peace and goodwill. On Christmas night in the year 835 the pagan Vikings raided two of the great monasteries of Ireland; the monastery of St. Kevin at Glendalough, Co. Wicklow and the monastery of St. Mogue at Clonmore, Co. Carlow, near Hackettstown. The Vikings would have carried out the raids on Christmas night in the expectation that the valuable relics of the monasteries would be on display and in the hope of capturing large numbers of prisoners that could be sold as slaves. At Clonmore the Vikings burnt the monastery and carried off a large number of prisoners into slavery. At Glendalough they burned the oratory but there is no mention of prisoners. Raids are also recorded to have taken place in Connacht the same night. Just two years later the Vikings were to establish a permanent settlement in Ireland at Dublin.

Cluain Mor Maedhog was burned on Christmas night by the foreigners; and a great number was slain by them, and many prisoners were carried off. The oratory of Gleann Da Locha was also burned by them. All the country of Connaught was likewise desolated by them.

 
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