Thursday 30 July 2015

GGI2015 - Genetic Genealogy Ireland is back!

It's that time of the year again!

Preparations are well in hand for the return of Genetic Genealogy Ireland for a third year, once again kindly sponsored by FamilyTreeDNA and organised by volunteers from ISOGG.

This 3-day series of DNA Lectures is held at the annual Back to Our Past event in Dublin. This is Ireland's annual national genealogy exhibition and attracts an audience of over 18,000 people. Full details of GGI2015 at BTOP are included below.

Genetic Genealogy Ireland 2015 – the DNA Lectures 

The lectures will appeal to genealogists of all ages and experience. As well as covering the basics of DNA testing, we will have specific presentations on how to get the most out of your Y-DNA and autosomal DNA results (John Cleary, Linda Kerr, Emily Aulicino, Debbie Kennett, Maurice Gleeson). We will also be addressing topical issues such as recent advances in SNP testing (John Cleary) and "Understanding DNA in the News" (Brad Larkin).

However, this year a major theme emerging from the lecture schedule is: Who are the Irish? Where do we come from? ... and even Where are we going?

And this raises fascinating questions of identity, all the more relevant as we prepare for a wave of commemorations over the coming years - the Easter Rising of 1916, the War of Independence that followed, and the emergence of Ireland as a nation state in 1922. 

But the Irish are a mixed bunch. Various waves of migration into Ireland have resulted in a population with a medley of genetic influences. The lectures will cover ancient DNA (Prof Dan Bradley), Irish Clans & Irish Identity (Cathy Swift), the genetic influence of the Vikings (Cathy Swift), Welsh-Norman DNA (Brian Swann), and the legacy of the Scots-Irish (James Irvine). We will also have an update on the fabulous Munster Irish Project (Elizabeth O'Donoghue Ross, Finbar O Mahony) and the first results of the exciting Irish DNA Atlas Project (Ed Gilbert) which is an academic study akin to the People of the British Isles Project. It will be interesting to see how the results from the various projects are similar ... and different.

We also have a very special group of people presenting this year and they are the folk from the Maine Irish Heritage Center. They run the Maine Gaeltacht DNA Project and work in close collaboration with the Carna Emigrants Centre in Galway. This is one of the most mature autosomal DNA projects in the world and has had an incredible amount of success reconnecting people in Maine (USA) with their genetic cousins who still live in their ancestral homelands of south Galway. This project is a wonderful example of the power of autosomal DNA combined with local knowledge and pedigrees.

The conference will end with a look into the crystal ball and the "Future of Genetic Genealogy".

The final lecture schedule should be available in August and will be posted on this GGI website. The lectures will run from 11.30 to 18.30 each day (12.30 to 18.30 on Friday). The last lecture of the day starts at 17.30. Thus there will be 7 lectures each day (6 on Friday), 20 lectures in total.

And as in previous years, we will get as many of the presentations as possible up on our GGI YouTube Channel for those of you who cannot make the conference itself.

In a nutshell … 

Location: the RDS (Royal Dublin Society), Merrion Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4

Event: Genetic Genealogy Ireland 2015 – a series of DNA Lectures, held in conjunction with Back to Our Past, Ireland’s annual national genealogical exhibition.

Date: 9th – 11th October 2015 (Friday to Sunday)

Times: 11.30 – 19.00 each day (12.30-19.00 on Friday; last lecture starts at 17.30)

Admission Fee: 10 euro (about £8, $13.50) per day, but 30% discount if booked in advance at the Back to Our Past website, so 21 euro (£17, $28) for all three days. This gives you access to EVERYTHING including the DNA Lectures. No other genealogical exhibition offers you so much for so little. The only real costs involved are getting there and staying there.

The Venue 

The RDS (Royal Dublin Society) is Ireland's premier exhibition venue. Founded in 1731, the RDS hosts the famous Dublin Horse Show each year and its Exhibition Centre is equivalent to London's Olympia (where Who Do You Think You Are? Live is hosted each year). It is surrounded by parks, restaurants and affordable accommodation, from Bed & Breakfasts to reasonably-priced hotels. The venue is 15 minutes from Dublin's historic city centre, 5 minutes from Lansdowne Road Football Stadium, and is easily accessible by public transport (both bus and DART). Click here for a link to the RDS on Google Maps.

Back to Our Past – general info 

This is the sixth year of Back to Our Past. It is run in association with the Over-50’s Show and the Coin & Stamp Fair. Attendance was 18,000 people in 2014. The exhibition consists of a multitude of stands/booths publicising the activities of organisations and businesses associated with genealogy and family tree research. The BTOP website is here - Back to Our Past.

There is also a series of lectures, dealing with both traditional genealogy and genetic genealogy. Last years lecture schedule is still available on the website and will give you an idea of both the traditional genealogical programme and the DNA Lectures.

This year’s traditional genealogy programme should be available 4-6 weeks prior to the event and we will notify you of this in due course.

Accomodation & Travel

A variety of Bed & Breakfast and hotel accomodation is close by. Click the links below to explore further. In previous years, several US colleagues stayed in the Glenogra Bed & Breakfast which is a 4 minute walk to the venue. Two deluxe hotels are almost opposite the Glenogra, namely the Four Seasons Hotel and Bewley’s Hotel, both of which have undergone recent name changes! The more reasonably priced Sandymount Hotel (formerly the Mount Herbert Hotel) is also quite close.

-  Bed & Breakfasts

Reasonably-Priced Hotels

There is plenty to do and see in and around Dublin, and many things are very centrally located so you can see a lot of things on foot. A list of the most popular tourist attractions can be found by clicking the links below:

Maurice Gleeson 
30th Jul 2015