Waterford Viking expert honoured by the Norwegian government

Eamonn McEneaney was project director on the city’s Viking Triangle

 

The Norwegian government has “knighted” the director of the Waterford’s medieval museum in recognition of his efforts to celebrate the city’s Viking legacy.

Eamonn McEneaney was appointed officer (knight first grade) of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit by the Norwegian ambassador Else Berit Eikeland on Friday on behalf of Norwegian king Harald V.

The museum was responsible for the first virtual reality Viking adventure which was established in 2017 and which is now the most successful visitor attraction in the city.

Mr McEneaney was also the project manager on the Viking Triangle which was a heritage-led regeneration in the city.

Mr McEneaney said he was “delighted and honoured” to have received the award. “It’s a recognition of a lifetime’s work. I am a historian by training. ”

He said the more we know about Vikings the easier it is to confront the stereotypes about them.

“Many of these great Viking warriors were actually Hiberno-Norse. The founder of Waterford in 914, [Ottir the Black] was almost certainly third-generation Viking living in Ireland.

“They gave us our first towns and brought us in contact internationally with trade. All the words associated with ports and fishing in Irish are of Viking-origin.”