Friday 28 July 2017

EU's 'ghost revenue' rules could send Ireland back to the old Viking Empire

Iain Barber and Gary Nolan on the boardwalk in Dublin to mark the launch of the Battle of Clontarf Festival in 2014. The way the EU trade winds are blowing, there may be a case for Ireland to rediscover its old Viking links. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Iain Barber and Gary Nolan on the boardwalk in Dublin to mark the launch of the Battle of Clontarf Festival in 2014. The way the EU trade winds are blowing, there may be a case for Ireland to rediscover its old Viking links. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
David McWilliams

David McWilliams

Contrary to popular belief and mythology, the Vikings were not a blonde, blue-eyed, Dark Ages version of Isil, raping, pillaging, terrorising and subjecting infidels to unspeakable degradations.

The reality is that the Vikings were extraordinarily successful because they were an amazingly well-organised and highly centralised commercial entity.

At its zenith, their trading network stretched from the Black Sea to Iceland, revealing a sophisticated level of boardroom preparation, meticulous planning and mercantile reasoning behind their specific conquests, combined with a finely tuned degree of diplomacy which allowed their future leaders to learn in the great courts of Constantinople and Baghdad, before coming back to Scandinavia to rule the Vikings.

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