> This is an interesting discussion. Were there ever any Viking kings of
> Tara? I would assume not, since they probably didn't follow tanistry,
> nor would they be recognised by tanistry.
> All the same, were there any attempts by Vikings to claim Tara?
No. The Scandinavian areas in Ireland never gained so much power as to be able
to attempt such a move.
I'm not sure we can really say though that what effectively became, in modern
terminology, ethnically Scandinavian migrant communities in medieval Ireland did
not recognise tansitry. Yes, there's not much chance of finding examples of this
system in use in the succession process in Dublin, Waterford, Limerick etc, but
bear in mind that these Scandinavian enclaves operated as small players in the
overall Irish system from the late 900s onwards, becoming equivalent to
dependent native tuatha of the main centres of power. As such, their security
and ability to continue to operate according to their own rules was also
dependent on their support for Irish rulers which in itself requires that they
play a supporting role in any succession processes, including claims to control
of Tara. Probably the best-known case of this is the sequence of events leading
to Brian Boru's rise to control of Tara. His position of dominance in Munster
and south Leinster was a direct result of his ability to suppress Scandinavian
dissension, mainly in Limerick and Waterford. This was carried out using the
same methods as were used to suppress dissension from Osraige. In each case
defeat at Brian's hands was followed immediately by an offer to join with his
'team'. The same goes for Dublin, which Brian's forces defeated several times
and which acted in support of Brian in several crucial conflicts, notably in the
suppression of Ulster, the last area of Ireland that refused to acknowledge his
overlordship. Without the active support of Dublin and Waterford especially,
this would probably not have been possible, and the threat of military action
from either Dublin or Waterford would have been enough to scupper Brian's
expeditions into Ulster. Now, military support hardly constitutes support and
active involvement in tansitry, let alone operation of this system. However, it
is clear enough that Dublin, Waterford, Cork and Limerick were all well aware of
the methods by which succession was carried out in the indigenous population and
they all played roles in this process which were no different to those played by
other sub-groups, eg Deise, Osraige.
So, no, they didn't "follow" tanistry, but they certainly understood it and
played the supporting role appropriate to their position in Munster, Leinster
and Meath politics.
Also, though they do not seem to have been accepted into the large-scale (ie
provincial) tanist system, I don't think we can say that they were not
"recognised" by tanistry in the sense that their support or lack of support for
a given person was often critical for success. Below this level, they can only
have been involved in tanistry within their own areas, as was the case with any
of the other powerful autonomous divisions of Ireland, ie the tuatha proper. At
this level, because they had little or no role outside their own areas, and what
they did within their own areas had little direct input from Irish tuatha, that
they did not actually operate tanistry is not surprising.
So... yes and no. 8-)