Replica viking ship sails in

An Irish-built replica Viking ship arrives in Dublin today under the power of 64 oarsmen at the end of a two month voyage from Denmark.

An Irish-built replica Viking ship arrives in Dublin today under the power of 64 oarsmen at the end of a two month voyage from Denmark.

The Sea Stallion of Glendalough, the biggest reconstruction of a Viking long ship in the world, is modelled on a 900-year-old vessel.

It put into Irish shores at Clogherhead, Co Louth last week after sailing 1,000 miles from the Danish port of Roskilde, via Norway and the Orkneys.

It is to be put on show in the National Museum in a homecoming of sorts after it arrives in the capital city.

It is a reconstruction of a ship, the Skuldelev 2, built in Dublin in 1042 which is believed to have sunk in Roskilde Fjord, near Copenhagen, some 30 years later.

The remains of this ship, as well as four others, were excavated in the 1960s.

The reconstruction was carried out over four years at the boatyard attached to the Roskilde Viking Ship Museum.

The shipbuilders employed the same materials, tools and techniques used to build the original ship and around 300 oak trees were used, with more than 7,000 nails, rivets and spikes.

The boat, which is 30 metres long, left Denmark on July 1 and set sail for Ireland with a crew of 65.

The purpose of the voyage is to test and document the seaworthiness, speed and manoeuvrability of the ship on the rough open sea and in coastal waters with strong currents.

It is hoped the voyage will also give insights into Viking society.

It is more than 1,200 years since Viking raiders landed in Ireland. They came exclusively from Norway and the first recorded raid was in 795 on Rathlin Island, off the Antrim coast, where the local church was burned.

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