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This victory was not decisive and eventually there grew up a brief alliance of sorts between Mathgamain, Máel Muad and others to drive the Norse "soldiers" or "officials" out of Munster and destroy their Limerick fortress in 972.
The two Gaelic claimants were soon back to fighting and the fortuitous capture of Mathgamain in 976 by Donnubán mac Cathail allowed him to be effortlessly dispatched or murdered by Máel Muad, who would now rule as king of Cashel for two years.
Brian's war against Máel Mórda and Sihtric was to be inextricably connected with his complicated marital relations, in particular his marriage to Gormlaith, Máel Mórda's sister and Sihtric's mother, who had been in turn the wife of Amlaíb Cuarán, king of Dublin and York, then of Máel Sechnaill, and finally of Brian.
He was one of the 12 sons of Cennétig mac Lorcáin (d.
Either soon before or soon after his victory over Máel Muad, Brian routed Donnubán and the remainder of the Norse army in the Battle of Cathair Cuan, there probably slaying the last of Ivar's sons and successor Aralt.
He then allowed some of the Norse to remain in their settlement, but they were wealthy and now central to trade in the region, with a fleet of great value.
In earlier times their ancestors had controlled some lands in today's County Limerick as well, but these had been overrun by the Uí Fidgenti from the 9th century and the invading Norse in the 10th.
The River Shannon served as an easy route by which raids could be made against the provinces of Connacht and Meath.
Both Brian's father, Cennétig mac Lorcáin and his older brother Mathgamain conducted river-borne raids, in which the young Brian would undoubtedly have participated.
He suffered quite a few reverses in this struggle, but appears to have learned from his setbacks.
He developed a military strategy that would serve him well throughout his career: the coordinated use of forces on both land and water, including on rivers and along Ireland's coast.