The Irish are much more genetically diverse than previously believed and have Viking and Norman ancestry – just like the English, according to new research.
A comprehensive DNA map of the people of the Emerald Isle has for the first time revealed lasting contributions from British, Scandinavian and French invasions.
Researchers have discovered 23 genetic ‘groups’ in Ireland and 27 groups in England, Scotland and Wales.
The findings are significant because they could be used in future studies to identify the genetics underlying various traits and diseases in specific regions.
An estimated 80 million people worldwide claim Irish descent – almost half of them Americans who regard it as their main ethnicity.
It has long been assumed this means the blood in their veins is Celtic – but geneticists now say the truth is much more complicated.
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