Irish pubs offer DNA test

Fathers who believe they rule their roost can now discover if they are descended from a notorious Irish warlord, it emerged today.

Ireland’s oldest pub and New York’s first Irish tavern will be offering DNA testing on Father’s Day to identify relatives of the marauding king Niall of the Nine Hostages.

Research has found that one in 12 Irish men could be descended from the 5th-Century warlord, with the highest concentration in the north-west of Ireland.

The Y chromosome, which is passed on from fathers to sons, has also turned up in 2% of all male New Yorkers.

On Sunday, patrons in Sean’s Bar in Athlone, Co Westmeath, and McSorley’s in Manhattan, can give a simple cheek swab which will be sent to the ancestral DNA testing company Oxford Ancestors at University of Oxford.

Tests will reveal if any of the men carry the unique Y-line signature that is believed to be that of wild king Niall who founded the Ui Neill (O’Neil, from O’Niall) dynasty which ruled Ireland from the 7th to the 9th Century.

Timmy Donovan of Sean’s Bar, which has been documented back to 900AD, said he plans to take the test.

“It is a busy pub right next to the River Shannon and a residential area so we have cover a big catchment area for,” he said.


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