Director: Liam McGrath

52 minutes (part 1 of 2 parts), 2011, Colour, Digi-Beta

Ireland on Sunday is our monthly showcase for new Irish film.

This month we re-visit the provocative IFTA-award-winning Blood of the Travellers which follows former Olympian Francie Barrett as he explores the history and genetic identity of the Travellers in Ireland. The film’s analysis of Irish Traveller DNA shows a clear signal of a heritage shared with the settled Irish but not with other European populations such as the nomadic Roma.

However, it also identifies a signature of genetic isolation over many centuries, ruling out theories that the community originated in Cromwellian or Famine times. Blood of the Travellers re-unites Liam McGrath and Francie Barrett who first worked together on Southpaw (1998) about Barrett’s journey to the Atlanta Olympics.

This screening will be followed by a discussion with Francie Barrett, Liam McGrath and scientists Dr. Gianpiero Cavalleri and Dr. Jim Wilson about a report to be published shortly on the documentary’s findings.

Supported by the Dublin City of Science 2012 Programme.

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