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Dunmore East is a small fishing village on
the south-east coast of Ireland, 16kms from
the city of Waterford.
It sits on the western side of the Waterford
Harbour Estuary, 4.8kms from Hook Head in
Dunmore East, Co. Waterford,
In or around 800 AD the first of many Viking raids took place on the Island of Ireland . The
Vikings or Norsemen as they were known began by attacking Scotland and England before
finally setting their sights on the Christian Island of Ireland . They were fierce warriors who
worshipped Pagan Gods, and plundered and pillaged all the lands they invaded. Ireland
being a Christian country afforded the Vikings rich pickings. Saints walked amongst the
people, and Churches and Monasteries blossomed. Gold, rare icons, statues, and other
precious items were hoarded by Monks within badly defended Monasteries, and these
treasures provided ample reason for the Vikings to sail across the Irish Sea from their
already established bases on the west coast of England to ramsack the unfortunate Irish.
The Monks and Saints and Scholars however were more than aware of the impending
pilfering at the hands of these Danish heathens, and as a consequence, local planning
authorities were inundated with planning applications for the erection of Round Towers . A
Round Tower was basically a high stone structure with an entrance door about 6 meters from
the ground. The Monks could hide in these structures taking their precious belongings with
them, and a would-be raider was left wondering as to gain entrance to such a formidable
shelter. The local council planning authorities did not consider such applications from Monks
and other Religious Orders as being strange; after all, Monks were weird. They flogged
themselves with whips, bound each other with chains, only lived with other Men, and went
into trance-like states when praying to their one true God. The Councils reckoned that the
old Gods were better; you could have as many as you liked, and group copulation on high
hills with a spate of nubile virgins was encouraged. That was of course until St Patrick came
along and all the fun left with the snakes. Nevertheless good politicians served all masters,
and so all the applications were granted in an effort to appease these extreme right wing
bodies and their new-found followers.
The Vikings however cared little for Monks, apart from their golden treasures, so as a result
the invasions began to take place. Settlements were soon established on the Irish east
coast, and today's cities of Dublin and Waterford were founded by the Vikings. The name
Waterford comes from the Norse word for a shallow river crossing, Water –Fjord. Dublin 's
official date of establishment was 968 AD and it began as a Norse Viking settlement. Henry
the second, King of England and leader of the Anglo Normans finally threw the Vikings out in
One of the fiercest Viking leaders of the time was a gentleman known as Volarius the Volatile
or Vol to his companions. Volarius was a renowned warrior, sea navigator, and butcher, who
had a reputation for removing the heads of his enemies without much pomp or ceremony.
His Long Ship was decorated down both sides with severed heads as a reminder to all who
dared face him as to their impending fate. In his native home he was a legend, and
earmarked as the next great leader or King. Volarius had a dark secret however which lay
hidden in the deep recesses of his devious mind, and any exposition of this unearthly
craving would be to his detriment, and would without doubt put pay to his very existence,
never mind his aspirations of becoming King.
Volarius was, in his native tongue, ‘An Agat' or in plain English, a ‘Lover of Chickens'. Vol
cared little for Women or their natural charms, but had regular sexual encounters with his
feathered friends, an affliction that began when as a youth he was charged with taking care
of the village hatchery. He was not to know however that upon his first raid on the hapless
Irish his secret would finally become common knowledge, unwittingly taken to public
attention by an old and frail Irish village elder standing on a sandy beach on the south east
coast. Here then is a true account of what happened on that summer's morning over 1000
The tiny village lay near the beach nestled amongst the trees of a deep and dark forest that
stretched inland for miles. It was 5am or thereabouts on a warm summer morning, and the
inhabitants snoozed to their hearts content, most in a drink induced slumber. Wedding
festivities the previous night had resulted in the consumption of large volumes of mead, but
the price was now being paid for the overindulgence with aching heads, and loud bursts of
flatulence echoing from the mud walled huts. Tadgh son of Tadgh awoke and opened one
eye. The one eye scanned the hut to ensure it was safe to open the other. He immediately
realized that the reason for his sudden awakening was to relieve the unwanted mead
induced constriction that was currently pulsating in his aching bladder. His parents, sister
and younger brother slumbered on, all oblivious to the impending events of the coming day.
Tadgh stole quietly from his straw bed and exited the hut into the early morning. The village
was silent as he started for the nearby forest. His early morning male condition, coupled with
a raised level of alcohol induced blood pressure made him look down to the front of his kilt-
like attire, and ponder the nature of his predicament. ‘If I was lying down on yonder turf', he
mused, ‘I would look like a Viking long ship complete with full sail' He entered the forest and
hitched the dress to his waist. ‘There are two ways I can do this', he decided, ‘I can bend
over holding on to this young sappling whereby I can burrow a hole in the sand, or I can
stand on yonder stone and see just how far I can project this missile'.
It was as he strode back to the hut that he caught sight of a Viking sail far away on the
horizon. He continued to stare in fear and dread, as he realized the vessel was getting ever
nearer to the sleeping village. He began to run then screaming at the top of his voice,
‘raiders, raiders, wake up, wake up'. He continued to race from door to door in an attempt to
warn the slumbering inhabitants. His cries received an immediate response from village
wives, who leaped from their beds and began to beautify their features, combing their flaxen
hair, and donning their best attire, in anticipation of the impending orgy of raping. Husbands
meanwhile struggled from their beds, thinking it was Sunday on account of the demure of
their inattentive wives, who were busily preparing themselves for some formal occasion. The
sound of a stag horn however soon put fearful reality into their foggy minds, as the horn was
only ever to be sounded at times of great peril. The men raced from their huts to be told of
the approaching threat. In a group they stood and watched the sails grow nearer, first one,
then two, and then it appeared an entire fleet was about to descend on the tiny hamlet. How
could they defend against such tyrants whose battles were the stuff of legends and whose
ferocity knew no bounds.
Sticks and stones were no match for tempered steel. The Men began to resign themselves
to the impending slaughter and decided one and all to run away into the nearby thick forest
where they had a chance of survival. That was until the village elder ‘Pat the Rick' stepped
forward. ‘Welluse the Wise' had been his pre-Christian name, but Pat had embraced
Christianity with the fullest of fervor, and nowadays believed that his one true God could
achieve anything, even put pay to a bunch of marauding savages. His new name came also
by way of the fact that he was quiet adapt at making hay cocks, or hay ricks as they were
sometimes referred to. ‘We will greet them as friends' he announced, ‘we will greet them in
the name of the one true God', his new found faith robbing him of his sanity. ‘Are you gone
stone fucking mad?' responded one of the Men, ‘they will cut us from ear to ear' he
continued, ‘and tell you to stick your God up in your arse'. ‘We will see', answered Pat the
Rick, ‘my God will protect me, and if you stand with me he will protect you'. The remaining
Men slowly nodded their heads half believing Pat the Rick, but were also filled with a feeling
that in spite of their brains their legs were getting ready to run.
‘Vol the Volatile' spied the village from a distance and headed towards the beach. ‘Be ready
for war' he grunted at his crew ‘and pull your oars hard' he shouted ‘until we hit yonder sand'.
The village Men led by Pat the Rick began walking down the strand as the bow of the first
Long Ship grounded a little ways off. They watched as the warriors leaped into the surf and
began wading in their direction. They saw the skulls dangling from the side of the first ship,
and they also spied the tall seven-foot giant that now led the pack of bloodthirsty Danes.
Suddenly the men were almost trundled into the sand as twenty or more village wives raced
past them in the direction of the savages. They were dressed in the old Pagan attire with
thighs, breasts, and buttocks flashing through skimpy dresses and their faces painted in the
ways of the Pagan. ‘Avert ye'er eyes, avert ye'er eyes' screamed Pat the Rick, ‘turn away
from these heathens, pray men, pray'. The Vikings who were now standing on the beach
also gazed upon the approaching women. ‘Are we to be set upon by witches?' muttered Vol
to his warriors. ‘Stand aside, stand aside', screamed Pat the Rick as he led the trembling
men through the assembly of women to face the Vikings on the sand.
In his hand he held a golden cross which he lifted high above his head and approached the
Viking leader. ‘Let there be no slaughter of the innocent' he moaned, ‘let there be no
plundering and pillaging', his voice quivering with fear, fervor and outright insanity. ‘At least
let them indulge in a little raping' one of the Women shouted, ‘Aye Aye' echoed her
companions, ‘a little raping will not hurt them'. ‘Shut heathen female' responded Pat the Rick,
‘shut or you will find eternal damnation'. Vol the Volatile stood silently and looked at this frail
creature who had dared to stand before him. He was also focusing on the small golden
sword that was clasped in the old man's hands. Suddenly Pat the Rick began to shake and
quiver. ‘I will', he cried out, ‘greet this kind stranger into our midst using one of our age old
greetings, that should show him we submit to his intentions and only seek peace'.
Holding the cross he took another step towards Vol. His lips parted to utter what would be
his final words.
‘Welcome to you' he cried out, ‘welcome to you, kind Man of the North, these are our
traditional words of greeting to all men or women who visit this land'.
‘Dhias Mhuire Agat ' he screamed, ‘Dhias Mhuire Agat'. To Vol and his crew the greeting
sounded like ‘Welcome to you, welcome to you, lover of chickens'. Pat the Ricks head
immediately hit the sand as the last words came from his lips. The village men immediately
legged it for the nearby Forest . The women lay on their backs on the golden sand, and so
the pillaging, plundering and long awaited raping began.
It was a dark day for Vol however who declined from any activities and spent the day
wondering how in such a far away place it was known as to his innermost secret. Upon his
return to his country his demise soon began as it was accounted around campfires
throughout the land of how an old frail Gaelic elder had greeted the most fearsome Norse
warrior with the enduring words of
‘Welcome, welcome, lover of chickens'
From the book Vol the Volatile, a true account of Irish History, and the short story writings
of Mick D.
Volarius the Volatile
The Short Story Writings of Mick D.