Posts Tagged ‘Irish Ancestors’

History in the Blood?

23 July 2009

Contributed by Ciarán Wallace

DNARecently RTÉ broadcast ‘The Blood of The Irish’, an interesting TV documentary on the ancestral DNA of the earliest inhabitants of Ireland. The programme supported the idea that the island was settled from the west thousands of years ago, in a sea-borne migration by a population from the present-day Basque region. A more extensive BBC series, ‘The Human Journey’, dealt with the global spread of humans from eastern Africa to the rest of the planet.

Intrigued by the possibilities of this scientific archaeology I tracked down a company that analyses DNA taken from saliva, to identify which prehistoric population movement led to my sitting in this particular office typing this article. (You can see that, despite the statement on the company website explaining what DNA testing could and could not reveal, I may have harboured unrealistic expectations.) I paid my €169, the small saliva sampling kit arrived (empty) and was duly returned (half-full). Within the promised 8–12 weeks I received an e-mail outlining my results. There was an attachment which, when printed off on a colour printer at A3 size, would give me a certificate to hang on my wall. To be honest, I was not impressed.  Read More