Monday 11 December 2017

Unique study delivers first genetic map of the people of Ireland

A unique research project, led by the Genealogical Society of Ireland and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), has created the first genetic map of the people of Ireland. The findings have been published in a paper – The Irish DNA Atlas; Revealing Fine-Scale Population Structure and History within Ireland – in the journal Scientific Reports.

Click to visit RSCI for larger image and more details
The landmark study provides the first fine-scale genetic map of the island of Ireland, revealing patterns of genetic similarity, so far in ten distinct clusters, roughly aligned with the ancient Provinces as well as with major historical events including the invasions of the Norse Vikings and the Ulster Plantations.

Population geneticists and genealogists collected DNA samples from 196 Irish people, each of whom had four generations of ancestry originating from a common geographical area of the island ie all four grandparents were born within around 30km of one another.

Analyses of the DNA, and comparison with thousands of further samples from Britain and Europe, have revealed geographic clusters within Ireland: so far seven of ‘Gaelic’ Irish ancestry, and three of shared British-Irish ancestry.

These findings add to the knowledge base required to improve the diagnosis of diseases where genes play a strong role, particularly for populations of Irish ancestry.

For more information, see the RCSI's press release, or go straight to the paper published in Scientific Report.