Viking invasions made a lasting impression on the DNA map of Ireland according to a massive study carried out by Trinity College Dublin.

Researchers at Trinity College Dublin reported that they believe the Viking and Norman invasions of Ireland may have made a more striking impression on the DNA makeup of the country than previously thought.

Read More: Irish people have far more Viking DNA than was suspected

In January 2018, they also discovered 23 new genetic clusters in Ireland not previously identified, leading to the belief that we may have far more Viking and Norman ancestry than previously evidenced.

“The long and complex history of population dynamics in Ireland has left an indelible mark on the genomes of modern inhabitants of the island” co-author of the study Professor Russell McLaughlin told the MailOnline.

“We have shown that using only genetic data, we can accurately reconstruct elements of this past and demonstrate a striking correlation between geographical provenance and genetic affinity.”

By comparing 1,000 Irish genomes with over 6,000 genomes from Britain and mainland Europe, genetic clusters within the west of Ireland, in particular, were discovered for the first time, leading the researchers to investigate if invasions from the Vikings and Normans to the east may have influenced genetics in that part of the country.

The Vikings made a lasting impact on Ireland (iStock)

The Vikings made a lasting impact on Ireland (iStock)

Read More: What is the truth about the Vikings in Dublin?

The genetics of the world’s estimated 80 million people who claim Irish heritage may now be more complicated than originally believed but research such as this could go some way to identifying if there are any specific traits or illnesses that are linked to these genetic clusters.

“This subtle genetic structure within such a small country has implications for medical genetic association studies,” said Trinity College Dublin geneticist Dr. Ross Byrne.

“As it stands current corrections for population structure in study designs may not adequately account for this within-country variation, which may potentially lead to false-positive results emerging."

“We feel this will be particularly important in the analysis of rare variants as these are expected to be less uniformly distributed throughout a country."

“We intend to explore this further and identify if this structure should be accounted for in corrections.”

Read More: How to find out if you have Irish Viking ancestry

The research from Trinity comes just weeks after the Royal College of Surgeons and the Genealogical Society of Ireland in Dublin released their own research to suggest a strong influence of the Vikings on the DNA makeup of Ireland. This team discovered genetic evidence of the Vikings in Ireland for the first time, although they only identified ten different genetic clusters across the country. These clusters were more in line with the ancient kingdoms and provinces in Ireland.

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* Originally published in 2018.

The Vikings have had a lasting impact on the IrishGetty Images