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According to an article in the Irish Times written by science editor Dick Ahlstrom, geneticists have teamed up to attempt to root out what it means to be truly Irish. The plan is to map families to their ancestral homes and focus on subtle genetic differences between hailing from Bantry as opposed to Ballinasloe.

Details of the plan were revealed when the college and the society shared a stand at the Back to Our Past show at the RDS in Dublin.

The goal of the research is to assemble a collection of DNA samples from people of Irish origin, which will be used to analyze a genetic variation in the overall Irish population.

The overall study is to glean what the genetic signature of being Irish is through a DNA atlas that will be constructed from a compilation of conventional genealogical details matched up with DNA samples from people who will take part in the project.

People selected to participate need to be able to trace their family tree to include all eight great-grandparents, as well as, to be able to link them to a tight geographical area of about 30km radius. If this can be done, they will also be asked to contribute a DNA sample taken as a simple mouth swab.

At the very least the study will show the diversity of the Irish genome and associate the information across geographical areas both North and South. Migration and settlement patterns will also be revealed.

If you’d like to find out more about the project click on Genealogical Society of Ireland.

To read the article click on Irish Times.

If you’d like to feel as though you’ve been on a trip to Ireland, scroll back to the top of the page and click on the Siopa graphic at the top of the article and, at the risk of sounding crass, I don’t get paid for you to click and enjoy a delightful visual experience.

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