Scientists believe new research which charts the genetic make-up of Irish people will result in important advances in the study of diseases and the history of the population here.
Researchers from University College Dublin (UCD) have defined the exact genetic make-up of an Irish person for the first time and shown how it differs from other nationalities.
It is now hoped that this revelation will help scientists studying diseases and the origins of Irish people.
The entire genetic code -- the genome -- was identified by a team from the Conway Institute in UCD, headed up by Professor Brendan Loftus.
This is the first time a complete Irish genetic code has been identified, using advanced technology.
Yesterday Prof Loftus said the information would be put into a public database in the United States where it could be studied.
"Genomes are important for many different reasons. And obviously this particular project is about producing the genome and doing some preliminary analysis on it and presenting that data," he said.
"Having an Irish genome is important because essentially genes mirror geography in many parts. We are distinct from other Europeans and have our own genetic structure."