Hardiman's History of Galway

Chapter 2: From the earliest accounts to the invasion of Henry II

Destruction of the Town by the Danes (9th century)

Chapter 2

From the earliest accounts to the invasion of Henry II

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Old map of Galway

At the commencement of the ninth century, the Danes began to pour in swarms from their northern hive upon Ireland; terror and devastation marked their progress in every quarter; neither the venerable remains of antiquity, the feelings of humanity, nor the divine spirit of the christian religion, could make an impression on those ferocious monsters, who, with fire and cword, burned and massacred all before them, without distinction. In the year 835, an army of these adventurers, under the command of their sanguinary leader Turgesius, over-run and ravaged the province of Connaught [n], committing, in their progress, the most dreadful carnage, and, in the general wreck and destruction which then took place, the ancient town of Galway was destroyed. That this insatiable enemy did not spare a place so well adapted for commerce, or afterwards settle there, according to the policy adopted at Waterford, Limerick, and other parts of the kingdom, appears extraordinary, unless that they might, perhaps, have considered its situation as too remote, for purposes of internal traffic or conquest.

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