The Viking Brand in Ireland
The Viking Triangle and Waterford
The Woodstown excavations in Waterford were a major advance in our understanding of Viking activity in Ireland outside the Dublin area. The centre of Waterford has recently been significantly developed, with a major feature being the development of the Viking Triangle - the area of the present city overlying the medieval town, and focused on the Waterford Treasures Museum, including the Viking collection in Reginald's tower. This is an example of a city being re-branded around its Viking past, with its replica Viking boat, pavement plaques indicating medieval find spots, and the Viking collection itself serving as major visitor attractions.
Other companies have named themselves after the Vikings in Waterford: Barnacle's Viking House is a refugee centure in the centre of the city, whilst the Viking Hotel lies on the outskirts. The city has also branded itself as Ireland's oldest city, founded by Viking raiders in AD 914. For more information about Waterford and the Viking Triangle, see here or the link below.
A Dublin Brand?
Dublin was one of the most important centres of the Viking world, and Norse heritage is very evident in everything from exceptional archaeological finds to street names and monuments to the Viking past. It is no surprise that the Vikings feature prominently in branding across the city. A recent advert for King crisps proclaims the Dubs (and Gaelic Football player Bernard Brogan) 'King of the Hill', backed by a Norse army. Visitors to Dublin are sure to encounter 'Viking Splash Tours', or to visit the excellent Viking experience centre 'Dublinia'. There are Viking walking tours and and public artwork, and Norse heritage plays a key role in the tourist industry. Sometimes the Viking brand is used to advertise companies with no clear connection to Norse heritage: simply because Vikings sell!
For all items relating to Viking Dublin, see here
Clontarf and the Vikings
There are also areas of Dublin that have a particular connection to the Viking past, and where Viking branding is especially prominent. Clontarf is one of these places, due to the important battle involving the Dublin Norse and Vikings from the British Isles fought here in 1014. The millennial celebrations of this important date in Irish history saw more opportunities to promote the Viking identity of Clontarf.
Branding Elsewhere in Ireland
It is an interesting feature of the heritage landscape of Ireland that whilst Cork and Limerick were also founded by the Vikings, there is little recognition of this in civic identity, and little exploitation of the Viking past by the tourist industry, companies or communities. This has in part to do with the meagre archaeological evidence for the Vikings in these areas, but it is also perhaps due to differences in cultural memory, and different priorities when it comes to branding the city's past for visitors.
In Ireland, Viking branding tends to be localised rather than representing the country as a whole: the Viking hat pictured here is perhaps one exception!