The Irish Genome

I was fascinated to read in the Belfast Telegraph today that scientists from the University College Dublin have mapped out an Irish genetic code. 

No doubt, Hitler would have been delighted if his scientists had discovered the Aryan genetic code. Before anybody who is descended from the planters starts jumping out of their seat, it needs to be said that there is nothing apparently political about this announcement.  The report states:

“Scientists believe new research which charts the genetic make-up of Irish people will result in important advances in the study of diseases and the history of the population here”

In 1588, Spain attempted to invade England.  Many of the ships which made up the Spanish Armada were lost in the storms around the coasts of the British Isles.  Some of these ended up off the coast of County Clare.  A coastal village in Clare, near the site of some of those wrecks, bears the name ‘Spanish Point.’ 

My mother is from County Clare.  She claims that a number of Spanish soldiers and Sailors, who survived the shipwrecks, remained and settled in Clare.  She claims to be a descendant of one of those Spaniards.  She believes that her skin, which easily tans in the sun, is an indication of her genetic inheritance.  Perhaps this new scientific development could shed some light upon that?

Ireland has been populated by humans for no more than about 10,000 years.  In that time, settlers have come to live here from other lands.  There has been invasion and/or colonisation from Danes, Normans and people from Britain.

O’Rahilly’s historical model suggests that there were four waves of Celtic invasions from other parts of Europe in the years 700-100 BC but this is based on legend and Archeology has not settled the matter.  Perhaps the new science will.

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4 Responses to The Irish Genome

  1. shane says:

    There are families throughout the west of Ireland with very dark skin and legend has it that they are indeed descended from survivors of the Armada. In Connamara, the skin colour of the locals can be usually dark. Many people on the Aran Islands are partly descended from Cromwellian soldiers stationed there back in the 17th century, who intermarried with the locals.

  2. Robert says:

    There is even the speculation that the “Celts,” whatever part of the present day Irish are represented from that mysterious nation, descended from the Cimmerians (Cimmri) who were a great thorn in the side of the ancient Hittites and Assyrians. Could this be the link for why the Gaelic tongues seem to stand apart from the European languages surrounding them? (There is surely a simpler answer, but it doesn’t seem to have presented itself.)

    • Seymour Major says:

      I dont know Robert. I am the proud owner of two great books ‘In search of Ancient Ireland’ by Carmel McCaffrey and Leo Eaton and ‘The Ancient Celts’ by Barry Cunliffe.

      These books indicate

      (1) There is no archiological evidence to prove that there was a Celtic Invasion. It is said that Celtic Iron age settlers arrived between 700 and 300 BC. Ireland was said to be a very rich country at the end of the Bronze age with plenty of gold!

      (2) One of the reasons suggested for this so-called invasion is the appearance of the Language. However, it is just as plausible that there was a common language throughout Europe which was an ancestor of all the Celtic Languages at the end of the Ice Age when the first settlers came to Ireland.

      (3) The first clear evidence of the existence of Celts anywhere in Europe was in about 600 BC. By the fourth century BC, the Greeks had come to accept that the Celts occupied a large swathe from Western Europe to the Upper Danube.

      (4) There are legends of Invasions to Ireland from overseas which have been passed down from the Ancient Irish until eventually reduced to writing. The sons of Mil, the ancestors of the Gaels, are said to have landed in Ireland on the feast of Beltine (May 1) somewhere in modern day Kerry.

      Perhaps the DNA project will reveal something interesting. We await.

  3. Sudipto Chakravorty says:

    Spanish people are not Aryans?

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