Wicklow People

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Original version of Viking ship 'Sea Stallion' was made with timber from Glendalough

A piece of history with some very close ties to Wicklow will remain on display at National Museum of Ireland at Collins Barracks in Dublin until June 2008.

The Sea Stallion of Glendalough, the biggest reconstruction of a Viking long ship in the world, arrived on Dublin shores last week after making its voyage of 1,000 nautical miles from Denmark to arrive at the Custom House Quay.

Members of the public may have feared history was repeating itself as the Viking ship descended on the shore, but their arrival was on much friendlier terms than previous Viking landings.

The Sea Stallion is a reconstruction of the Skuldelev, a ship built in Dublin in 1042 and believed to have sunk in Roskilde Fjord near Copenhagen 30 years later. The wood used in the original ship was traced to trees felled in Glendalough.

Danish Culture Minister Brian Mikkelson apologised on behalf of the Danes to the people of Wicklow and Ireland over the behaviour of their Viking ancestors.

'In Denmark we are certainly proud of the ship, but we are not proud of the damages to the people of Ireland that followed in the footsteps of the Vikings,' said a repentant Mr. Mikkelson.

The ship represents the Viking Age's large sea-going war ships, as described in skaldic epics and saga texts and took four years to build.