First Genetic Map of Ireland Unlocks Secrets About Ancestors

The first genetic map of the people of Ireland has been produced by scientists at the Royal College of Surgeons and by genealogical researchers at the Genealogical Society of Ireland. The Irish DNA Atlas; Revealing Fine-Scale Population Structure and History within Ireland has been published in the journal Scientific Reports.

The study has found that prior to the mass movement of people in recent decades, there were at least 10 distinct genetic clusters found in specific regions across Ireland. It also revealed that seven of those clusters discovered so far are of ‘Gaelic’ Irish ancestry and match the borders of either Irish provinces or historical kingdoms. The other three are of shared Irish-British ancestry, and are mostly found in the north of Ireland and probably reflect the Ulster Plantations.

The Irish DNA Atlas also found that two of the ‘Gaelic’ clusters together align with the boundaries of the province of Munster.

It also discovered that they are individually associated with the boundaries of the kingdoms of Dál Cais and the Eóganacht.

The Celtic and Viking influence was also evident in the findings with relatively high levels of North-West French-like and evidence of West Norwegian-like ancestry identified.

The Irish DNA Atlas may be found at:

An introductory article explaining the study may be found in the NewsTalk web site at:


French? That’s interesting…


Interesting since my DNA tests showed high Irish ancestry from both & 23andMe.


My people are all from Ulster, predominantly Down and Armagh. My (Ancestry) DNA showed 63% Irish and large traces of Iberian Penninsula and Scandanavian. If I’m not mistaken, Celtic tribes originated in what is now the Basque Country of Spain, so my DNA results make sense to me. My wife’s people are from Sligo, in Connacht. Her DNA showed no Iberian Penninsula and no Scandinavian.


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