FRIENDS OF MEDIEVAL DUBLIN
 
REPORTS

Return of Dublin’s Viking longship 'Sea Stallion from Glendalough'
(Havhingsten fra Glendalough) to Ireland

Sea Stallion from GlendaloughTo commemorate the historic links between Ireland and Denmark, the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism is supporting the return of Dublin’s Viking Warship, the Sea Stallion from Glendalough to Ireland. The exact replica of the original ship, (1042) discovered 50 years ago at the mouth of Roskilde Fjord in Denmark is scheduled to arrive on 14th August 2007 at 1 p.m. at Custom House Quay in Dublin’s Docklands.

Dubliners can look forward to welcoming the magnificent Viking longship to the city. The "Havhingsten fra Glendalough" - Sea Stallion from Glendalough - a reconstruction of a thirty metre long Viking warship exhibited in Denmark's Viking Ship Museum, will depart from Roskilde in Denmark on 1st July to sail the waters her ancestors crossed many years ago. The Longship will form the centrepiece of a special exhibition in the National Museum of Ireland at Collins Barracks.

Reflecting the best in Dublin's Viking age technology, the Sea Stallion is an exact replica of a vessel built in Dublin in 1042 and which ended its days on the bottom of the Roskilde Fjord later on in the eleventh century. The ship's voyage to Ireland will be the culmination of the Danish maritime archaeological project, 'Thoroughbred of the Sea', the most ambitious ship archaeology research project ever undertaken. The expedition will test the ship's seaworthiness and speed in waters sailed by the original ship nine hundred years ago and will provide valuable new information on Viking longships, their construction, use of raw materials, preferences for sail materials, navigation, sailing skills and organisational strengths.

The Sea Stallion will depart from Roskilde, Denmark in July and travel across the North Sea, around the north coast of Scotland and southwards across the Irish Sea to Dublin, where she is expected on 14th August. Upon arrival, the Sea Stallion will be welcomed in a two-day celebration at Custom House Quay. The Ship will dock alongside a specially constructed Viking themed village in Dublin's Docklands, before being transferred for display with an accompanying exhibition of authentic shipbuilding crafts at the National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barracks for a year.

The ship will be manned by members of Denmark's Viking Ship Museum staff and over 100 volunteers who will take turns in joining the crew of seventy. The journey is expected to take around seven weeks, in what are likely to be challenging conditions.

The journey will be recorded by Danish national television and budding seafarers, both in Denmark and in Ireland, can follow the crew's progress on the Internet and by calling to Collins Barracks where news of its progress will be beamed daily.

Mr John O' Donoghue, T.D, Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, whose Department is supporting the event, said he was pleased to be associated with what is both a serious scientific re-enactment of a Viking ship's journey from Denmark to Ireland and an opportunity to celebrate our shared history. "The arrival of the longship at Dublin Port in August and the display and Exhibition at Collins Barracks will be both a cultural and a tourism highlight in 2007 and 2008. I invite everybody to visit the boat in the National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barrack's. It will build on the Museum's already great work on interpreting our Viking age heritage."

The National Museum of Ireland is the principal host and has worked in cooperation with the Danish Viking Ship Museum for many years. Dr Pat Wallace, Director of the National Museum of Ireland, supervised Dublin's Viking age archaeological excavations at Wood Quay in the 1970s and 80s. His subsequent research and promotion of Denmark's links with Ireland earned him a Knighthood from HM Queen Margrethe II.

The Department of Arts Sport and Tourism is working with the Royal Danish Embassy, the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Dublin Docklands Development Authority, Dublin City Council, Dublin Tourism, in supporting the visit.

The first welcoming ceremony at the Docklands will include a demonstration of the work of silversmiths, leatherwork, textiles, and woodwork. The Exhibition at the National Museum, Collins Barracks will include Danish expert craft workers from the Roskilde Museum, displaying authentic woodwork, rope making and other skills involved in building the ship.

Loretta Lambkin, of the Docklands Authority says, "that it is a real privilege to host such a magnificent ship in Dublin's Docklands. We expect that it will be a must-see attraction during its time in Dublin."

Further details on the project can be found on www.havhingsten.dk.
The full details and programme can be found at www.seastallion.ie.

For further information and photography please contact:
Aoife Demel , Marketing Department , National Museum of Ireland, tel. 01/6486429. ademel@museum.ie
Also Longship Project photography available from Aoife.

For information on the Docklands arrival event please contact
Loretta Lambkin, Director of Marketing, Docklands Authority, Tel 01 818 3300
Christine Lydon WHPR, Tel 01 669 0030 or 087 283 7407.