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The Ferocious O’Flaherty (A DNA Case Study)

I live in Galway City, and it is said (on many websites) that the medieval walls of Galway City carried the inscription ‘From the ferocious O’Flahertys O Lord Deliver Us.’ There was never such a sign, it is a local myth! However, for me, and far more fascinating, is 'John Duntons' account of his stay among one of the last of the O'Flaherty Chieftains! It’s a fascinating read and was first published in 1698 (Teague Land, Or a Merry Ramble to the Wild Irish)!

BUT who were the Galway O’Flahertys? Clan folklore tells us that they were descended from one ‘Flaithbheartach macEimhin’ who lived in the 10th century. Clan history also tells us that the O'Flaherty Clan originally settled on the eastern side of what is now County Galway, but were later driven west by the Normans into a wild, boggy and mountainous Connemara.

But what does the DNA reveal about the Connemara O’Flahertys? To find out you can download and study the Flaherty Y-DNA Case Study CLICK HERE. Firstly, similar to the O’Hallorans (another notable Galway Clan) they are in fact foreign Gaels from Inishowen in the far northwest of Ireland; DNA reveals that members of both Clans carry the R-M222 Gaelic Irish Y-DNA marker (which first appeared in Inishowen in north Donegal about 1,800 years ago). The DNA also reveals that the Northern Irish Gaelic ancestors of the O’Flahertys and O’Hallorans arrived in Galway at some point during Ireland’s Viking Age (post 800AD).

The DNA reveals that the ancestors of the R-M222 O’Flahertys and O’Hallorans had provided the local knowledge and hired muscle that allowed the Vikings to so readily and successfully raid along Irelands west coast. While the Vikings moved on, founding Ireland’s modern cities, the ancestors of the O’Flahertys and O’Hallorans sought new land, and their DNA reveals that they in fact settled on the Islands along the Connemara coast; the ancestors of the O’Flahertys settled permanently on Gorumna Island (not in East Galway as Clan history claims). Over time, the O’Flahertys would expand their kingdom to cover all of Western Galway and much of the land that lay to the east of modern Galway City until they were pushed back by the arrival of the Normans in 1169AD. What will your Irish DNA reveal?

You can contact Irish Origenes CLICK HERE for a FREE CONSULTATION on your DNA results (Y-DNA, Autosomal or mtDNA) or to find out which commercial ancestral DNA test is suitable for you. Remember folks, I am a trained Scientist with over 20 years’ experience in both Academic and Industrial Labs. Always check the scientific qualifications of the blogger offering DNA advice. An honorary qualification is no substitute for decades of genuine awards and practical experience.

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