Viking warriors are set to come to Ireland next year, but according to the Danish ambassador they will be on their best behaviour this time.
Ambassador Niels Christen Pultz said the warriors will be coming over from his country as part of commemorations to mark the 1,000th anniversary of the Battle of Clontarf.
He said this was just part of a series of events planned to commemorate the AD1014 battle, which was pivotal in Irish history.
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The Vikings first began looting monasteries in AD795 with an attack on Rathlin Island and engaged in hit-and-run raids for booty and slaves over the next few decades.
But gradually they became more organised and sent large number of ships over to Ireland establishing significant settlements in Dublin, Waterford, and Cork in particular. Eventually, the Irish emerged victorious at the 1014 Battle of Clontarf, despite their leader Brian Boru being killed in action.
Mr Pulz said: “We will be bringing a group of Danish Vikings over from the village of Frederiksund who perform [battle] re-enactments every year.
“We are liaising with Dublin City Council and Clontarf Heritage Society to get them to do reenactments. We believe one of the re-enactments will be in the centre of Dublin on the Easter weekend.”
He added that Viking scholars would also be travelling to Ireland to provide lectures on their culture and history. Some of the lectures will be held in Clontarf and at the National Museum of Ireland, which will host a special Viking exhibition.
“There will also possibly be a lecture at the Royal Irish Academy after Easter,” Mr Pultz said.
In the meantime, he also confirmed as part of the events the awardwinning Danish String Quartet will play a special concert on Apr 22 in the National Concert Hall.
Mr Pultz said all the Viking visitors will “be very friendly this time”. He said while they may have been bloodthirsty at times there were other races and tribes who were equally as violent during the same period.
“When your then president Mrs McAleese visited Denmark in 2010 she said the Vikings suffered from a bad press,” the said.
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