Irish DNA Atlas Published
- That prior to the mass movement of people in recent decades, there were numerous distinct genetic clusters found in specific regions across Ireland
- Seven of those revealed so far are of ‘Gaelic’ Irish ancestry and describe the borders of either Irish Provinces or historical kingdoms.
- The remaining three are of shared Irish-British ancestry, and are mostly found in the north of Ireland and probably reflect the Ulster Plantations.
- Two of the ‘Gaelic’ clusters together align with the boundaries of the province of Munster, and individually are associated with the boundaries of the kingdoms of Dál Cais and the Eóganacht.
- There are relatively high levels of North-West French-like (probably ‘Celtic’), and evidence of West Norwegian-like (probably Viking) ancestry within Ireland.
- There is evidence of continual, low level migration between the north of Ireland and the south and west of Scotland.
The Irish DNA Atlas
The Irish DNA Atlas Project is an exciting and very important collaborative research project undertaken by the Genealogical Society of Ireland and Dr. Gianpiero Cavalleri of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.
The Project was launched at the ‘Back To Our Past’ exhibition in the RDS, Dublin, in October 2011 and received considerable coverage in the media. The main objectives of the project are to (1) to further our knowledge of the population history of Ireland and (2) to help us understand how genes influence health in Ireland.
Participants are sought from across the island of Ireland and, indeed, from overseas who can trace each of their eight great-grandparents to the same general area of Ireland to present a Birth Brief (Pedigree Chart) and to provide a DNA sample (kit provided) for analysis.
(Pictured above: Dr. Gianpiero Cavalleri of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland – RCSI)
Since the launch of the Project in October 2011 the response from certain areas of the country was excellent, however, more participants with roots in the midlands, north Munster and mid-Ulster are particularly sought.
Therefore, the Project’s Genealogical Director, Séamus O’Reilly, FGSI, is seeking more participants for the project. Séamus will accept suitable participants with ancestry in any part of Ireland that comply with the criteria. He is particularly interested in participants with ancestry along all coastal areas and the midlands.
UPDATE: In August 2013, the Project Team welcomed Dr. Darren McGettigan as the Historical Director of the Project. Dr. McGettigan brings a wealth of experience in researching early and medieval Irish history to the analysis of the surnames and the interpretation of the data in relation to historical events and the known population movements and settlements in Ireland.
(Pictured above: Séamus O’Reilly, FGSI, the Society’s Director of Archival Services and Dr. Gianpiero Cavalleri of the RCSI being interviewed by Ron Noble on BBC Radio Wales about the ‘Irish DNA Atlas’ project on St. David’s Day, March 1st 2012, in a special show broadcast from the National Maritime Museum, Dún Laoghaire.)
Checkout the project newsletter here.