Iain Barber

Iain  Barber 1
Iain  Barber 2
Iain  Barber 3
History, Geography
Curriculum Strands:
Local Studies (History), Early people and ancient societies (History), Continuity and change over time (History), Human environments (Geography)
Counties catered for:
Classes catered for:
3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th

Iain Barber, aka - Ragnar Olafsson is a greybeard, third-generation, Dublin Viking and he's been touring the castles, museums and schoolrooms of Ireland for many years! Ragnar takes the children on an exciting historical adventure covering C8th Scandinavia to C11th Dublin.

He examines the Vikings - their gods, settlements, trade patterns, towns, diet, crafts and their marauding ways. Iain originally worked as a teacher and originally appeared as Ragnar in the Irish Life Viking Adventure in the 1980s. Iain has also made exact replicas of Stone Age and Bronze Age pots for the National Museum, the Hunt Museum and the Ulster Museum.


  • "Iain brought a wide range of Viking artefacts which where very enjoyable for the children. Children were given lots of chance to handle objects which generated much interest and discussion. The classroom segment was delivered in a dramatic manner and engaged the children well."
  • "Fantastic visit - children loved handling artefacts. Very knowledgeable Viking expert. Lovely gentleman to deal with. Definitely have him back."
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  • "Spoke to the children at a level they could understand. Very knowledgeable, brought history to life and explained his character fully. great collection of historical artifacts available for the children to handle. Would have him back in a heartbeat." - |Zion Parish Primary School
  • "The children loved the day and learned lots."
  • "Absolutely brilliant! Iain came to discuss all things Viking related with our 4th class children. He was extremely punctual arriving an hour beforehand to set up his many props and materials. He explained everything so well to the children and kept them entertained for the first part of the visit. During the second session Iain was in role as Ragnar the Viking. He dressed and played the part and the children were completely immersed in the lesson from start to finish. Iain had many props ( bones, shields, swords, horns) to discuss and pass around the class. The children we so delighted with this visit and I also had many parents contact me with words of praise for Iain. Would definitely have him back!" - Gaelscoil Eiscir Riada, Dublin
  • "Iain's Viking session was amazing! The combined approach of two separate sessions - one 'chalk and talk' direct teaching session as Iain and then a later 'in-role' session as Ragnar son of Olaf allowed the children a very broad range of learning opportunities. The content of both sessions linked directly to the SESE curriculum. Iain's collection of artefacts is the best among any Heritage visitor we have had in the school. The manner in which he displays these items as a teaching tool is fantastic. The children thoroughly enjoyed the hands-on interactive aspect of the workshops where they handled so many Viking artefacts. The background knowledge that presented in the introduction session was a fantastic foundation for the day, where the children could make connections with previous learning in a range of subjects. The children's reaction to Ragnar's arrival was amazing!! They were in awe! Thank you so much Iain for bringing the Viking 'alive' for the children. In their own words 'this was the best day in school ever'!" - Powerstown Educate Together National School, Dublin
  • "Iain was an absolute pleasure to work with. He was very professional and was a wealth of knowledge. The children really enjoyed his visit." - Rush NS, Dublin
  • "This is the second year that Iain has visited the school and has taught us all there is to know about the Vikings. Iain is full of energy, is a real character and he kept the class engaged from the moment he arrived. He is a fantastic storyteller and actor and made us all laugh with his humour. The children had such a brilliant day exploring the Vikings, learning about different clothes, tools and tales. An experience they will never forget. I would highly recommend Iain!" - Gaelscoil Eiscir Riada, Dublin

Additional Information

  • Caters for Special Needs
  • Provides practical/ hands-on activities

Contact Details

Phone (Home):
01 490 9795
086 1016 159