Ireland – A Place

Summary

Continent: Europe

Population: 5,068,050 (2018 CIA)

Literacy: 99%

Ireland is also known as the Republic of Ireland. It is an island nation in Northwestern Europe. It lies to the west of Great Britain.

The Republic of Ireland occupies five-sixths of the island of Ireland in the North Atlantic Ocean. On the western coast are tall sea cliffs. They place the land high above the sea. At the top, most of the island is flat with rolling interior plain. The plain is surrounded by rugged hills and low mountains. The island has a temperate maritime climate. It is influenced by the North Atlantic Current. There are mild winters and cool summers. It is consistently humid. The skies are overcast about half the time.

Prehistory

The first people we are sure lived in Ireland were hunter-gathers. The first artifacts from them date to 7900 BCE. From then until about 4000 BCE these were the only people there. Slowly, the farming revolution reached Ireland. We call this the Neolithic revolution. With it came pottery, polished stone tools, rectangular wooden houses, megalithic tombs, and domesticated sheep and cattle. Farming helped the population of Ireland grow. By the end of the Neolithic period, new building forms were emerging.

The Neolithic in Ireland was followed by the Bronze age. This started around 2000 BCE in Ireland. Here, the Bronze age was marked by use of gold and bronze. They were used for ornaments, weapons, and tools.

By 600 BCE, the Bronze age in Ireland transformed to the Iron age. The Iron age saw the first Celtic-speaking people reach Ireland. They came between 600 and 150 BCE.

The Roman empire never conquered Ireland as they did what is now England. We know from them though something of these early Iron age people. Though there are oral traditions, these are the earliest written accounts .

History

In the 8th century (900 CE) Norsemen from the northern lands of Europe began to raid and settle Ireland. These invasions ended two hundred years later. They were stopped when King Brian Boru defeated the Danes. This happened in 1014.

Ireland had a period of relative peace. This was broken by the invasions of Normans from France in the 12th century. Thus began over seven hundred years of struggle between the Irish and the invaders. For the Normans were in time replaced by the English as foes.

The ongoing struggle was marked by uprisings and repressions.

Meanwhile, the introduction of the potato from the Americas as a crop helped cause a population boom. This boom was harshly cut in the mid-19th century. A blight attacked the potato crops year after year. There was little to eat. Many people starved to death. Between death and emigration, the population of Ireland shrank by over 25%.

This is the history that has shaped the Republic of Ireland.

Modern Times

The population of modern Ireland is now over five million. There are two official languages in Ireland. They are English and Irish (Gaelic or Gaeilge). 

The majority of the population 82.2% is native born Irish. Another 0.7% are Irish travelers 0.7%. There are also people from other European countries (9.5%).  Other ethnic groups include Asians (2.1%) and Africans (1.4%).

The historic Roman Catholic church continues to dominate religion. Roman Catholics are 78.3% of the population. Other Christian denominations include the Church of Ireland (2.7%) and the Orthodox church (1.3%). There is a small Muslim (1.3%) population.

Genetics

The genetics of Ireland has been influenced by each successive wave of migration. To some degree, it is expected to show the traces of first farmers, Bronze Age Celtic migrants, Norse invaders, Norman conquer, and English and Scottish overlords. Yet, as an island population endogamy and its way of shaping local genetics is also expected. That is, in most generations the average person married someone from their own small village or market town.

mtDNA

Mitochondrial DNA follows direct maternal lines. In telling the story of a people, its strength lies in tracing this single line. There are thirteen major maternal lineages in Ireland. They are H (42.5%), HV (1.5%), I (3.0%), J (10.0%), K (10.4%), M (0.1%), N (0.1%), T (9.1%), U (15.0%), V (4.6%), W (2.1%), X (1.3%), and Y (0.1%).

Literature and Data Review

Genographic Data

mtDNA

Genographic ProjectGeno 2.0 Data

Data from Geno 2.0 is derived from the The National Geographic Society’s Genographic Project — the DAR. The Hg ID is specific to this site and is used to protect the identities of those who take part in Genographic research. Birth Country, Mother's Birth Country, and Maternal Grandmother's Birth Country have been normalized from DAR database fields. The Maternal Origin is determined based on the three previous fields.

Note: Geno 2.0 results currently use Phylotree build 16. I am working on changing results over to build 17.

Hg IDHg Build 16Birth CountryMother's Birth CountryMaternal Grandmother's Birth Country
Hap10000268H1i2United KingdomIrelandUnspecified
Hap10000272H6a1b2United StatesUnited StatesIreland
Hap10000293H4a1a1United KingdomIrelandUnspecified
Hap10000297H1c8United StatesUnited StatesIreland
Hap10000628H4a1a1United StatesUnited StatesIreland
Hap10000783H3United StatesIrelandUnspecified
Hap10000840H6a1b2United StatesUnited StatesIreland
Hap10000940H1zIrelandIrelandIreland
Hap10000957H1au1bCanadaIrelandIreland
Hap10001032H6a1b2IrelandIrelandUnspecified
Hap10001313H64United StatesUnited StatesIreland
Hap10001423H6a1b2United StatesUnited StatesIreland
Hap10001992H11aUnited StatesUnited StatesIreland
Hap10002057H1bCanadaCanadaIreland
Hap10002235H1IrelandIrelandIreland
Hap10002335H1ag1bUnited StatesUnited StatesIreland
Hap10002420H1e2United StatesIrelandIreland
Hap10002441H1United StatesUnited StatesIreland
Hap10002453HUnited KingdomUnited KingdomIreland
Hap10002595H6a1b2UnspecifiedIrelandIreland
Hap10002609H1ccUnited StatesUnited StatesIreland
Hap10002649H1m1United StatesUnited StatesIreland
Hap10002795H3bIrelandIrelandIreland
Hap10002920H2cCanadaCanadaIreland
Hap10003041H1cUnited KingdomIrelandUnspecified
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Sources and Resources

Background

Journal Articles

  • Rosser, Z.; Zerjal, T.; Hurles, M.; Adojaan, M.; Alavantic, D.; Amorim, A.; Amos, W.; Armenteros, M.; Arroyo, E. & Barbujani, G. (2000). Y-Chromosomal Diversity in Europe Is Clinal and Influenced Primarily by Geography, Rather than by Language. American journal of human genetics, 67(6), 1526-1543.
  • Capelli, C., Redhead, N., Abernethy, J.K., Gratrix, F., Wilson, J.F., Moen, T., Hervig, T., Richards, M., Stumpf, M.P., Underhill, P.A. and Bradshaw, P. (2003). A Y Chromosome Census of the British Isles. Current Biology, 13(11), 979-984.