Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Faith and begorra!

According to a new study at Trinity College Dublin, the Irish aren't Celts after all.

DNA analysis shows little connection with the people of central Europe who drifted westward during the Iron Age.

This will come as a surprise to the Irish, who have ballyhooed themselves as Celts. It also has relevance to my newest book, Climbing Brandon: Science and Faith on Ireland's Holy Mountain, which has much to say about Celtic nature worship.

Fortunately, I stressed that Celtic spirituality in Ireland had its origin in ideas, not genes. The new data bolsters my idea of the ready assimilation of invasive cultures by the peoples of the Atlantic fringe.