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HER Story & Timeline


Discover the intriguing life of Gormlaith.






Gormlaith ingen Murchada was born in Naas, County Kildare in 960 AD. Gormlaith went on to become a queen in the late 10th and early 11th centuries. She was the daughter of Murchad mac Finn, a king of Leinster of the Uí Fhaelain line, and sister to Máel Mórda who eventually became King of Munster.

960AD Born in Naas, County Kildare

Gormlaith was born at a time when the Norsemen (Vikings) had invaded and settled in Ireland and were reaching their full strength against native kingdoms.

Late 900sAD Marries Norse King Óláfr Sigtryggsson

Gormlaith is believed to have been married to the Norse King of Dublin, Óláfr Sigtryggsson, up until his death in 981. Their son Sitric would follow in his footsteps by becoming King of Dublin, while Gormlaith would go on to marry one of Sitric's main enemies.

997AD Gormlaith Marries Brian Boru

Gormlaith married the great Brian Bóru in 997 AD and had a son, Donnchadh. Boru was an enemy of Gormlaith's son Sitric, having fought in several battles with him. Their marriage was short-lived and Gormlaith was believed to be in opposition to Brian since separating from him.

1014AD Battle of Clontarf

Although Gormlaith wasn't physically involved in the Battle of Clontarf, it is thought that she incited her brother, Máel, and/or son, Sitric, to fight against Brian Bóru. The battle took place on Good Friday in 1014 and resulted in a victory for Brian's forces, but ultimately the death of Brian at a tent near the battlefield.

1030AD Death of Gormlaith

Gormlaith is believed to have died in 1030 although very little is known about her death.