Early Irish People Were Black With Blue Eyes, New Documentary Suggests
Photo Credit: Melanie Kreutz

Photo Credit: Melanie Kreutz

Early Irish People Were Black With Blue Eyes, New Documentary Suggests

Black History , Ireland , news
Parker Diakite
Parker Diakite Apr 29, 2021

There’s a new documentary that defies everything you may have thought about Irish people. In fact, the documentary, titled, The Burren: Heart of Stone, claims the people who inhabited the land nearly 10,000 years ago were not white with blonde hair and blue eyes. Instead, Irish people were Black with blue eyes, as first reported in Irish Times.

Scientists in the documentary are using technology typically used in forensic criminal investigations to explore Ireland’s past and surprising new details.  What they claim to have found is that Black Irish people inhabited the island along the coast of the Barren as hunters for nearly 4,000 years before they were replaced by settled farmers.

They are believed to have gathered shellfish, and hazelnuts, as well as hunt wild boar in a region with a landscape of cliffs, caves, mountains, and more. 

Geneticist Dr. Lara Cassidy revealed that the people who moved into Ireland 4,000 years ago helped to establish, “the modern Irish gene pool as we know it today.”

And Dr. Cassidy isn’t alone with her discovery.

In 2018, geneticists at the University College London and the Natural History Museum said that “Cheddar Man” – a Mesolithic skeleton found in a cave in 1903 had “dark to black skin” with blue eyes and curly hair, as reported in the Irish Post.

Using DNA and bone powder from the skeleton’s skull, scientists found that white Europeans evolved later than previously thought.

“We think [ancient Irish populations] would be similar [to Cheddar Man],” Dr. Dan Bradley, a professor of genetics population at Trinity College Dublin said. “The current, very light skin we have in Ireland now is at the endpoint of thousands of years of surviving in a climate where there’s very little sun. It’s an adaptation to the need to synthesize vitamin D in the skin. It has taken thousands of years for it to become like it is today.”

The research also suggests that around 30-40,000 people were living on the island of Ireland during the era when darker skin was common.