runs of homozygosity in the irish population

so, after all my rambling about the historic mating patterns amongst the native irish, how inbred are the irish really?

from Population structure and genome-wide patterns of variation in Ireland and Britain:

[O]ur results suggest that the Irish population has the largest proportion of the genome in ROH (as measured by FROH1), relative to the British and HapMap CEU populations examined here (Figure 3).”

the members of the ceu population are mormons in utah. here is figure 3 — click on images for LARGER view:

ireland - roh01 - o'dushlaine et al

Figure 3 – FROH1 patterning in Irish, British and Swedish populations. Box plots represent (a) the number and (b) the summed size of segments of the autosomal genome that exists in ROH of 1 Mb or greater in length (ie, FROH1). The bars represent mean and confidence intervals, as per a standard box plot (box indicating the 25th–75th percentile of the FROH1 distribution, line within box representing the median and ends of the whiskers representing the 5th–95th percentiles). Outliers are represented by diamonds.”

so the irish: more AND longer roh or runs of homozygosity (1 Mb in length or greater) than the english, the utah mormons, scots in aberdeen, or the swedes — in that order (if i’m not mistaken). so the english here are the most outbred (what have i been saying?), while the irish are the most inbred.

more from the paper:

“Overall, the Irish and Swedish populations seem slightly different from the others in the context of ROH. Both the Irish and Swedish populations showed, on an average, a greater number of ROH, an increased maximum ROH length, as well as an increased proportion of the genome in homozygous runs, compared with that of the Scottish, southern English and Utah populations. Similarly, the mean level of individual autozygosity per population as measured by FROH22 was highest for the Irish group (Figure 4). Together, these results suggest slightly increased autozygosity in the Irish cohort compared with the British and Swedish cohorts.”

here’s figure 4:

ireland - roh02 - o'dushlaine et al

Figure 4 – Mean FROH1 and FROH5 patterning in Irish, British and Swedish populations. See Figure 1 legend for population identifiers. Y-axis indicates the average proportion of the autosomal genome covered by FROH1 or FROH5 (see Materials and Methods for definition of FROH).

“Autozygosity is generated by increased levels of kinship, which in turn reflects the population history of Ireland. Although relatively undisturbed by secondary migrations, the population of Ireland has undergone expansions and contractions at numerous points in recent history (eg, two major famines since 1600, disease epidemics, expansion in the first half of the 19th century). Aside from these features, the increased autozygosity may also reflect legacies of Gaelic family structures and comparatively low levels of migration that are in part due to a lack of industrial revolution in Ireland.

“To test a hypothesis of increased autozygosity due to features of relatively recent population history, we examined the patterning of homozygosity looking for signals of parental relatedness over the last four or five generations. Previous work has illustrated that parental relatedness arising within four to six generations predominantly affects ROH over 5 Mb in length.22 We therefore compared this statistic across populations. Results show that the Irish and Swedish populations have around 10 times as much of their genomes in ROH over 5 Mb in length than the southern English, and 1.5–3 times as much as Scotland and Utah (Figure 4)….

“Analysis of ROH is a powerful method to gauge the extent of ancient kinship and recent parental relationship within a population. This is because ROH arise from shared parental ancestry in an individual’s pedigree. The offspring of cousins have very long ROH, commonly over 10 Mb, whereas at the other end of the spectrum, almost all Europeans have ROH of ∼2 Mb in length, reflecting shared ancestry from hundreds to thousands of years ago. By focussing on ROH of different lengths, it is therefore possible to infer aspects of demographic history at different time depths in the past.22 We used FROH measures to compare and contrast patterning across populations. These measures are genomic equivalents of the pedigree inbreeding coefficient, but do not suffer from problems of pedigree reconstruction. By varying the lengths of ROH that are counted, they may be tuned to assess parental kinship at different points in the past. We used two different measures, FROH1, which includes all ROH over 1 Mb and hence includes information on recent and background parental relatedness, and FROH5, which sums ROH over 5 Mb in length, more typical of a parental relationship in the last four to six generations.22 Our FROH1 results indicate slightly elevated levels in the Irish and Swedish populations (compared with southern England, Scotland and HapMap CEU) of both the overall number of ROH and the proportion of genome in ROH (see Figure 3). This pattern was exaggerated when we restricted analysis to ROH greater than 5 Mb in length (ie, FROH5, see Figure 4), indicating increased levels of parental relatedness in the last six generations in the Irish and Swedish populations compared with other populations tested in this study. When we remove individuals with ROH over 5 Mb from the FROH1 analysis (Supplementary Figure S5), Ireland remains as the population with the most homozygous runs and the longest sum length of homozygosity. This provides further evidence that the elevated proportion of shorter ROH, and hence the number of ancient pedigree loops in Ireland, is indeed real and not driven by a limited number of offspring of cousins.

recent cousin matings, they mean.

so, if you look at figure 4, both the irish and the swedes have way more roh of over 5 Mb in lenth than the english (who have a really miniscule amount), the scots in aberdeen, or the mormons in utah (ceu) — in that order. in this instance, the swedes appear to have the most roh over 5 Mb, but as the authors say, when they removed the over 5 Mb individuals from the samples (i.e. the individuals most likely to be the offspring of recent cousin marriages), the irish wind up having the most and the longest roh over 1 Mb in length, so they win the overall inbreeding prize for these groups.

what the authors overlook, i think, is the longer term mating patterns of these populations. i think that the english in this study (and, it should be noted, that these are described as individuals from the south and southeast of england) have miniscule amounts of roh in their genomes because, out of all these groups, they have been outbreeding the longest (see “mating patterns in europe series” ↓ below in left-hand column) — since the early part of the middle ages, in fact. the irish and the swedes, on the other hand, have more roh because they started outbreeding much later (and, probably, too, because, like other northern populations, they’re somewhat remote and small in size) — the swedes sometime after they converted to christianity in — when was it? — ca. 1000 a.d.? and the irish, as i’ve shown in the last few posts on irish mating patterns, not until sometime towards the late medieval period — as late as the 1500s possibly.

the implication of all this is, because the irish and the swedes (and other groups in europe) inbred for longer than the english (and some of the french and dutch and germans), their societies would’ve remained clan- or extended-family based for longer than those of the english et al., and so would’ve been under different sorts of selection pressures from their social environment.
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update: Supplementary Figure S5 – when the researchers removed the individuals with roh over 5Mb, i.e. those individuals who were most likely to be the offspring of cousins (see comments):

ireland - roh03 - o'dushlaine et al

previously: runs of homozygosity and inbreeding (and outbreeding) and western europeans, runs of homozygosity (roh), and outbreeding and russians, eastern europeans, runs of homozygosity (roh), and inbreeding and early and late medieval irish mating practices and clannish medieval ireland and inbreeding in europe’s periphery and early modern and modern clannish ireland and meanwhile, in ireland… and drinkin’ and fightin’ songs and mating patterns, family types, and clannishness in twentieth century ireland and inbreeding in ireland in modern times

(note: comments do not require an email. clan map of ireland.)

51 Comments

  1. This may sound a bit nationalistic but I’m not sure I can see the effect of this in Sweden. Most estimates have Sweden clearly higher on IQ than Ireland and on about the same level as the UK. And violence of any sort is not considered acceptable.

    That said, there is a region here called Dalarna (The Valleys) which is rumored to have practiced cousin marriage for longer than the rest. Historically they’ve been rebelling a lot against the central government, and they have a strong identity. A person from this area is called a Mas,and they would call outsiders living on the border fringe-Mas or even butt-Mas. It’s also interesting to note that nationalist extremism is more common in this area and neighboring areas than elsewhere in the country. Dalarna is also a rich source of folk music, similar to Appalachia that way.

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  2. @staffan – “This may sound a bit nationalistic but I’m not sure I can see the effect of this in Sweden. Most estimates have Sweden clearly higher on IQ than Ireland and on about the same level as the UK. And violence of any sort is not considered acceptable.”

    i’ve posted the Supplementary Figure S5 (i should’ve posted it in the first place!), so you can see what happened when they removed from the samples the individuals with the <5 Mb roh (i.e. likely the offspring of cousins) and reanalyzed the whole thing again for just the 1 Mb roh.

    then you can see that sweden shifts quite a bit to the left (i.e. less/smaller roh), closer to england. so does ireland, but not so much. (so do the english, so it's really a game of tag! (~_^) )

    which makes sense, at least to me, since, while the swedes started outbreeding later than the english (not until after you guys converted to christianity, which was later than the english), your ancestors DID apparently start outbreeding before the irish — by a couple of hundred years, i think. and, then, once you did, you took it seriously (or, rather, your ancestors did (~_^) ). even after the reformation when many of the newly minted protestant nations dropped the bans on cousin marriage, sweden kept the ban. until the mid-1800s! after which time cousin marriage picked up again in several regions of the country.

    so, if the theory’s right at all, then we should see less “clannishness” in sweden than in ireland, but more in sweden than in england. which is what i think we see (but i’m biased towards my own theory (~_^) ). there’s more patronage [pg. 18+] and low-level corruption in ireland (remember, they’re one of the piiggs) — there’s not really in sweden (or england). there’s a stronger tradition of liberal democracy in england (they invented it!) — less so in sweden (you lean more towards consensus democracy, but not fully — in ireland, again, they’ve got a lot of patronage in their “democracy”). the english are strongly individualistic — the swedes, individualistic but less so (can you say jantelagen? (~_^) ) — the irish, still strongly oriented towards their extended families.

    @staffan – “… there is a region here called Dalarna….”

    dalarna! where the colorful horses come from! (^_^) (i’ve been to minnesota….)

    @staffan – “Historically they’ve been rebelling a lot against the central government, and they have a strong identity.”

    interesting! i’ll have to check out their (long-term) mating patterns. thanks!

    Reply

  3. @grey – “i hope there are more studies like this”

    me, too! i want MOAR! (^_^)

    i should dig around in other articles related to “population structure,” ’cause the roh part of this research certainly wasn’t the main point of it. there could be more roh data out there than i realize.

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  4. in ireland, again, they’ve got a lot of patronage in their “democracy”

    I take it from your use of quotation marks that you don’t see Ireland as a democratic country?

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  5. Joe, I don’t have all of that in my head but the main source is IQ and the Wealth of Nations which has been validated with measures of for instance educational attainment. In recent years Ireland has surpassed Sweden in these stats but only through a large influx of Muslims. Ireland is practically free of Muslims whereas Sweden has something like 5-10 percent of the population. And we are talking about ethnic groups rather than formal nationality.

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  6. Did you know the Irish were Christian a few hundred years before the English and even used to send missionaries to England?

    Do you have any data on how the Welsh compare to the English, in these matters and others?

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  7. WCE
    “Did you know the Irish were Christian a few hundred years before the English and even used to send missionaries to England?”

    This would lend weight to the idea that the process required the combination of the cousin ban (cause) and manorialism (mechanism for enforcing the ban).

    From the previous thread:

    “the rural priest and his flock tend to be sympathetic to such dilemmas, and the details of kinship are often left hazy or ignored.”

    Compare a priest on his own in a remote rural community and a priest in a church next to the manor house who is backed up by the secular authority – in the form of a large man with a sword – and I think there’s a clearly plausible mechanism for the different levels of *application* of the cousin ban – same ban, different levels of enforcement.

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  8. @joe – “I take it from your use of quotation marks that you don’t see Ireland as a democratic country?”

    well, if you read Building Democracy in Ireland: Political Order and Cultural Integration or the chapter on ireland in Party Patronage and Party Government in European Democracies or this ph.d. thesis, you’ll start to wonder, too, if the irish have got a democratic state. (~_^)

    i tend to have liberal democracy in mind when i use the word democracy — which is sloppy on my part, i know, and i need to try and fix that. (i don’t think i’m alone in that usage, though.) so really, you should read that “democracy” as “liberal democracy.”

    ireland sounds like it’s about as liberally democratic as italy. or, put it another way — politics in ireland sounds a lot like the old daley machine in chicago. which, i guess, shouldn’t be a big surprise! (~_^)

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  9. @working class englishman – “Did you know the Irish were Christian a few hundred years before the English and even used to send missionaries to England?”

    christianity was actually present in britain during the roman era, but it kinda waned in popularity after the romans left (or maybe went underground?). when the anglo-saxons-jutes arrived — well, they were a bunch of pagans! (^_^) so, yeah, there were a lot of missionaries, then, from ireland (and scotland) into england, especially directed towards these newcomers.

    the thing with that older irish/scottish/northumbrian church — the celtic church — is that it really did ignore a whole bunch of edicts from rome. they didn’t seems so concerned with priests/nuns marrying, or with polygamy — i betcha the celtic church didn’t concern itself too much with cousin marriage, either. i would guess that this is why augustine of canterbury wrote to pope gregory in 597 to clarify (amongst other things) whether or not cousins were allowed to marry — perhaps there was a lot of conflicting input from celtic church priests and he wanted to set the record straight wrt what rome had to say.

    @working class englishman – “Do you have any data on how the Welsh compare to the English, in these matters and others?”

    no, i don’t have a whole lot of info on the welsh, although i would guess that the pre-christian welsh were a lot like the pre-christian irish and scots! i was going to skip over the welsh for now, but i’ll see if i can find anything out about them before i move on to continental europe. we take reader requests here @hbd chick! (^_^)

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  10. @grey – “This would lend weight to the idea that the process required the combination of the cousin ban (cause) and manorialism (mechanism for enforcing the ban).”

    absolutely! and the whole celtic church thing (see my comment above). but, of course, the celtic church was located in places without manorialism, so … we’re back to that point again. (^_^)

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  11. In recent years Ireland has surpassed Sweden in these stats but only through a large influx of Muslims. Ireland is practically free of Muslims whereas Sweden has something like 5-10 percent of the population.

    But since the Swedes were dumb enough to let in Muslims in the first place doesn’t this suggest that they were not really that smart after all?

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  12. ireland sounds like it’s about as liberally democratic as italy. or, put it another way — politics in ireland sounds a lot like the old daley machine in chicago. which, i guess, shouldn’t be a big surprise!

    But didn’t people vote for Daley or are you saying that he rigged the elections?

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  13. Personally, I don’t think that cousin bans had anything to do with the lower level of inbreeding in England compared to Ireland. I think that the most likely explanation is that the Industrial revolution had a greater effect on the working class English population than it did on the working class in Ireland. In England, working class people often had to move hundreds of miles away from the area of their ancestors which meant that there were no cousins for them to marry. In Ireland, except for emigration, most Irish people continued to live in areas where their ancestors had lived for many generations meaning that they had little choice but to marry a close relative.

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  14. @joe – “But didn’t people vote for Daley or are you saying that he rigged the elections?”

    oh, come on, joe! don’t tell me you don’t know about the daley machine!

    one-man-one-vote does NOT mean you have a truly liberally democratic system. you have to look at how the ENTIRE beast works.

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  15. from Building Democracy in Ireland: Political Order and Cultural Integration in a Newly Independent Nation [pgs. 217, 221]:

    “Democratic political structures ideal-typically promote a public sphere where the individual citizen stands in direct relation to political authority, unmediated by a hierarchical authority structure. Further, modern politics increasingly focuses on questions of individual rights owed and responsibilities due. Democratic structures, in short, ideal-typically promote a public sphere ever more individualistic and egalitarian, where politics becomes incresingly removed from ascriptive or even particularistic considerations. Solidarity is based upon new principles of political organization — that is, the solidarity of like-minded or like-situated citizens — and no longer upon premodern principles or attachments. Yet the presence of both authoritarianism and personalism in Irish democracy expresses, in one respect, the idiosyncratic nature of Irish political forms and, as I shall argue, its unique accomodation to its public. These features of Irish democracy imply neither a universalistic politics based upon the individual citizen nor the elimination of traditional solidarity. Irish democracy became a peculiar blend of universalistic and individualistic principles expressed in the institutions of parliamentary rule. Concomitantly, the public tolerated the survival of those more collectivist and particularistic attachments that preceded the birth of the new state….

    “‘An Irishman sees his world around him as a vast network of personal relations. It is through this network and those of others, that he knows much about the world…. He perceives persons not primarily in their formal roles, as bureaucrats, lawyers, company directors, but in the first place as friends, friends of friends, relations of friends: persons who owe him or a close connection of his some favour. In other words, in his view, each person is, orally or otherwise, indebted to a number of persons.'”

    so irish society is a bit of a blend between universalistic and particularistic — or somewhere in between two ends of that spectrum. not fully universalistic (like the english), but neither fully particularistic (like, oh i dunno, the arabs).

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  16. This may sound a bit nationalistic but I’m not sure I can see the effect of this in Sweden. Most estimates have Sweden clearly higher on IQ than Ireland and on about the same level as the UK. And violence of any sort is not considered acceptable.

    Hmmm,

    Wouldn’t it be convenient if we had a large scale comparison of the academic capabilities of ethnic Irish and ethnic British, whom if I read you correctly, are at the same level as the Swedish.

    Low and behold we have!

    In the North of Ireland, Catholic(read Irish) schools significantly out-score state(read British) schools.

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/education/51-of-northern-ireland-school-pupils-are-catholic-28671003.html

    Sorry to rain on your parade sweet-heart. And don’t try and explain Sweden’s mediocre PISA ratings with immigrants. Your Iraqis are Ashkenazi compared to our Nigerians.

    Most of the sociology on this thread about Irish politics is mis-informed nonsense. The reason the Irish were so prominent in machine politics in America was that we were used to political organising at home. This combined with English speaking and city living made us natural candidates for prominence in political organising.

    Irish democracy is based on a system of proportional representation which pits politicians not only against politicians from other parties but also from their own party. The normal survival method is to try and carve off a niche of the electorate in a constituency and farm it intensively. This two front war that Irish politicians must fight is the best explanation I have for the universalist and the particularist tendencies of Irish politics. Universalist against other parties, particularist against your own party.

    Because of intra-party competition there are no safe seats and it is impossible to “deliver” votes as a Daley machine would in Chicago. These factors pretty much mean it is as close to perfect competition as one can get in a democracy. Urban machines depend on political systems which are closed.

    Staffan
    06/30/2013 at 5:04 AM
    Joe, I don’t have all of that in my head but the main source is IQ and the Wealth of Nations which has been validated with measures of for instance educational attainment. In recent years Ireland has surpassed Sweden in these stats but only through a large influx of Muslims. Ireland is practically free of Muslims whereas Sweden has something like 5-10 percent of the population. And we are talking about ethnic groups rather than formal nationality.

    Isn’t that the book written by Richard Lynn, that chap who recommended a large portion of the Irish population be sterilised…

    Look, sweet-heart, Lynn is an Englishman who worked for the University of Ulster. That alone should be enough to discredit anything he has to say with regards to Irish-people.

    Reply

  17. Irishman
    07/01/2013 at 8:28 AM

    In the North of Ireland, Catholic(read Irish) schools significantly out-score state(read British) schools.

    The Protestants of Northern Ireland are mostly of Scottish descent and therefore…well…not much different from the Catholics (Irish). Maybe I’m wrong but haven’t DNA tests shown that its not possible to tell an Ulster Catholic from an Ulster Protestant?

    So why would Catholic schools significantly out-score state schools?

    Catholic schools tend to be sex segregated and I understand girls perform better in single sex schools than in mixed schools – could that be a factor?

    In any case, everyone in the UK knows the state sector is dire. Independent schools nearly always outperform state schools.

    Look, sweet-heart, Lynn is an Englishman who worked for the University of Ulster. That alone should be enough to discredit anything he has to say with regards to Irish-people.

    LOL!

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  18. Most estimates have Sweden clearly higher on IQ than Ireland and on about the same level as the UK. And violence of any sort is not considered acceptable.

    Self identified White Irish in the UK tend to be basically the same as White British on raw CAT (Cognitive Ability Tests) which should equalize well for educational effectiveness. Of course, that does not mean they are actually representative – you have the effect of people identifying as one thing they are not necessarily particularly likely to that.

    Re: Muslims and international educational measures, the blogger at Supereconomy produced a immigrant adjusted PISA table for EU countries (extracting all second and first generation migrants, comparing against White Americans) –

    http://super-economy.blogspot.co.uk/2010/12/amazing-truth-about-pisa-scores-usa.html

    The Swedes outrank the Irish, but the gap between Swedes and Irish is about a 1/4 as the Swedish-German gap and 1/5 as large as the Swedish-Swiss chasm.

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  19. @irishman – “Irish democracy is based on a system of proportional representation which pits politicians not only against politicians from other parties but also from their own party. The normal survival method is to try and carve off a niche of the electorate in a constituency and farm it intensively.”

    if i’m not mistaken, countries like germany and the scandinavian nations — places which are not, generally, hampered by corruption and patronage (except for parts of southern germany) — also have proportional representation systems, so, as much as you’d like to think that that’s what’s behind patronage in irish political system(s) (including the ones here in the u.s.), i’m afraid that ain’t it.

    i recommend having a read of some of the sources i linked to above wrt democracy in ireland.

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  20. @irishman – “that chap who recommended a large portion of the Irish population be sterilised…”

    do you have a reference for that?

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  21. @working class englishman – “Maybe I’m wrong but haven’t DNA tests shown that its not possible to tell an Ulster Catholic from an Ulster Protestant?”

    it would depend upon how “fine grained” your testing was, i imagine. compared to some hutus — no, ulster catholics (more native irish) and ulster protestants (more scottish) would look pretty much the same genetically. otoh, every individual’s genome is different (even identical twins!), so we should be able to tell ulster catholics and protestants apart at some level.

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  22. “Sorry to rain on your parade sweet-heart. And don’t try and explain Sweden’s mediocre PISA ratings with immigrants. Your Iraqis are Ashkenazi compared to our Nigerians.”

    Let’s do some math just to get an idea of the situation. If ethnic Irish starts out with an IQ of 100 and then gets a minority of 0.9 percent Africans (according to Wikipedia) and let’s say they all have the very low IQ of Nigerians (67), then this would lower your IQ to 99.7. And that’s your only low-IQ minority to speak of – you have a similar amount of Chinese who probably raise the average.

    Now look at Sweden. If we start out at 100 and then get the current minorities of 1.3 percent Iraqis, 0.4 percent Somali, 0.96 percent Bosnians, 0.7 percent rest of former Yugoslavia, 0.67 percent Iranians, 0.46 percent Turks – that lowers the Swedish average to 99.0. And there are still many low-IQ minorities I haven’t bothered with. Lebanon, Syria, Afghanistan, India and Ethiopia make up another full percent averaging at 80. And there are lots of large minorities averaging at 90 as well.

    Another way to find a comparison of ethnic Swedes and Irish is to look at figures before the mass immigration era. According to an article in Personality and Individual differences from 1981, Stockholm averaged at 105.8 and Dublin at 99.2. http://www.iqcomparisonsite.com/NationalIQs.aspx

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  23. @irishman – “In the North of Ireland, Catholic(read Irish) schools significantly out-score state(read British) schools.”

    but protestants are not lagging in numbers at university in n.i.

    “Dr Peter Shirlow, an academic from Queen’s University Belfast, said the percentage of Catholics and Protestants attending our universities reflected ‘the share of what the population is’.

    “Demographics indicate that in the age group (18-21) of people attending university, the religious breakdown would be 55% Catholic and 45% Protestant.

    “Figures obtained by the Belfast Telegraph show that of Northern Ireland students attending university, 35% are Protestants, 49% are Catholics and 16% are others.

    “‘According to the census, Protestants are much more likely not to state their religion than Catholics so it’s not a case of universities being a cold house for Protestant communities,’ explained Dr Shirlow.”

    …so it’s not clear to me what those numbers from the catholic schools are telling us. do protestants attend these catholic schools, too? are the catholic schools in n.i. at all like the gaelic-speaking schools in the republic of ireland, i.e. schools that professionals like to send their kids to ’cause they get a better education/get away from the dregs of society? i know that the catholic schools that i went to when i grew up (in chicago) were exactly that.

    like working class englishman said:

    “In any case, everyone in the UK knows the state sector is dire. Independent schools nearly always outperform state schools.”

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  24. iirc NI schools (Catholic and Protestant) outperform the rest of the UK (excluding some individual counties within the UK).

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  25. like the gaelic-speaking schools in the republic of ireland, i.e. schools that professionals like to send their kids to ’cause they get a better education/get away from the dregs of society?

    Welsh (language) schools in Wales seem to perform a similar function.

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  26. iirc NI schools (Catholic and Protestant) outperform the rest of the UK (excluding some individual counties within the UK).

    I believe NI still has selective education that is, they have the eleven plus exam and all that goes with it :http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eleven_plus_exam

    Selective education or the Tripartite System is like a very bad version of the German education system but warped and distorted so as to accommodate our very important class system.

    Its worth pointing out at this point that I can point to data showing that large numbers of high IQ kids failed the eleven plus and that kids were, and are, coached to pass it; which I think rather undermines its value. Unless of course you are prepared to pay the price of having a working class and underclass with more than a smattering of high IQ potential criminals and ne’er-do-wells so that the not-so-bright middle class kids can still secure their ‘rightful’ place in the social hierarchy. :D

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  27. One other thing:

    Although NI does not have much in the way of Asian or Afro-Caribbean immigrants, I do believe it does have a lot Catholic Polish immigrants.

    My personal experience of Polish immigrants is that they mostly really are as bright, highly qualified and hard working as the immigration enthusiasts say they are.

    Their kids go to Catholic schools.

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  28. “iirc NI schools (Catholic and Protestant) outperform the rest of the UK (excluding some individual counties within the UK).”

    Almost certainly this is because Northern Ireland never scrapped the Grammar School system which Britain used to have. In the 1960s, cultural marxists in Britain decided that selective education was “unfair”, so they closed down the majority of Britain’s Grammar Schools. Up until that point the system had enabled academically gifted people from poorer backgrounds to get a better education for free. But oh no, that’s “not fair”. So the ‘equality and diversity’ people thought the solution was to put everyone of all abilities together in the same school, and the intelligence of the gifted pupils would miraculously rub off on the less gifted ones. That of course didn’t happen, and teaching was set at the lowest levels so that the less bright kids could keep up, frustrating the ambitions of the brighter kids. This was compounded by increasingly liberal teaching methods in the new ‘Comprehensive Schools’, so discipline suffered and children became more disruptive. Inequality in society actually increased under the new system as the families of the bright kids did everything possible to make a bit more money in order to send their children to fee-paying private schools instead, often putting themselves in financial difficulty to do so. Northern Ireland however wisely decided to keep the system of free state Grammar Schools, hence why their education is of a better standard than Britain nowadays.

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  29. Working Class Englishman

    The Protestants of Northern Ireland are mostly of Scottish descent and therefore…well…not much different from the Catholics (Irish). Maybe I’m wrong but haven’t DNA tests shown that its not possible to tell an Ulster Catholic from an Ulster Protestant?

    The Protestants of the North are close to half and half COI and Presbyterian, indicating half and half English and Scottish origin. Ulster had not been intensively settled by British prior to the Plantations as Leinster had so the Irish population is relatively indigenous. The Scottish population in Ireland overwhelmingly came from the Southern Scottish border region. The are mainly of Germanic origin. The Hibernicised northern and Gaelic part of Scotland did not migrate much to Ireland. I have no evidence as to the genetic similarities between Irish and British people in the north but a native can make a good fist of telling them apart. I would guess they are as different as the Irish and English.

    So why would Catholic schools significantly out-score state schools?

    Catholic schools tend to be sex segregated and I understand girls perform better in single sex schools than in mixed schools – could that be a factor?

    In any case, everyone in the UK knows the state sector is dire. Independent schools nearly always outperform state schools.

    Faith schools in Britain do no better than state schools when makes an apples to apples comparison.

    http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=2320755

    The reason they do better in Britain is because they attract a better standard of person. The situation is not analogous to the North where attending a faith school is not a question of parental motivation but ethnicity. If your Irish you go to a catholic school, which, unlike in Britain get all types of children. If you’re British you go to a state school.

    if i’m not mistaken, countries like Germany and the Scandinavian nations — places which are not, generally, hampered by corruption and patronage (except for parts of southern germany) — also have proportional representation systems, so, as much as you’d like to think that that’s what’s behind patronage in irish political system(s) (including the ones here in the u.s.), i’m afraid that ain’t it.

    You are mistaken. The PR Germany and Scandinavia have is based on list systems. This is a closed political system unlike the Irish system.The Irish system is more like the Westminister system except constituencies have between 3-5 seats with an alternative vote system. A big party in a five seat constituency might nominate 3 candidates in a 4 seat constituency with a view to taking two seats. This strategy makes sense because the competition between the three will likely maximise the parties overall vote relative to other parties so when the weakest candidate is eliminated his votes will elect his running mates. In most constituencies close to 10,000 votes will effectively secure a seat, so a face to face democracy is viable. So the choice an Irishman has is not only which party, but which person to vote for.

    Also, I dispute your claim that Ireland is notably corrupt. The civil and public service is essentially clean, and Ireland had usually rated close to other North West European countries in the corruption perceptions index, though we deteriorated in 2012.
    http://archive.transparency.org/policy_research/surveys_indices/cpi/2010/results

    @irishman – “that chap who recommended a large portion of the Irish population be sterilised…”

    do you have a reference for that?

    He alludes to it here.
    http://inductivist.blogspot.ie/2012/05/helmuth-nyborg-interviews-richard-lynn.html

    I remember him writing about it in much more detail but alas I cannot remember where.

    Another way to find a comparison of ethnic Swedes and Irish is to look at figures before the mass immigration era. According to an article in Personality and Individual differences from 1981, Stockholm averaged at 105.8 and Dublin at 99.2.
    In the 1980s, Ireland suffered from a severe brain drain and was substantially poorer than the rest of Europe. Irish GDP per capita at that time was 70% of Sweden’s. By 1998, before the Euro and the housing bubble distorted the Irish economy, Ireland exceeded Sweden in terms of GDP per head. If IQ is linked to GDP, it seems to me a more likely explanation that Ireland was merely fulfilling it’s potential in this period after a period of under-achievement.

    hbd chick
    07/01/2013 at 2:56 PM
    @irishman – “In the North of Ireland, Catholic(read Irish) schools significantly out-score state(read British) schools.”

    but protestants are not lagging in numbers at university in n.i.…

    British Protestants are wealthier. The wealthy regardless of academic ability are more likely to attend college. As I said earlier. Going to a catholic school is a function of ethnicity, not class. Other than perhaps a kid from a mixed marriage, it would be unthinkable for a protestant to attend a catholic school.

    Reply

  30. @irishman – “Isn’t that the book written by Richard Lynn, that chap who recommended a large portion of the Irish population be sterilised…”

    thanks for the link. he doesn’t say anything about having “a large portion of the Irish population … sterilised” — you’re reading waaaay too much into what he said (because, judging by one of your comments above, you’ve got a grudge against the english — clannish people have loooong memories (~_^) ).

    what lynn, in fact, said was:

    “RL: Yes, I was appointed research professor at the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) in Dublin, where I worked until 1972. The brief was to carry out research on the economic and social problems of the country. So I settled down to investigate the economic and social problems of Ireland and think about what contribution I could make to finding public policies that would help solve them. The major problem was the economic backwardness, and when I researched the literature it was not long before I discovered that the Irish had a low average IQ. So I formulated the theory that the low IQ was likely a significant reason for the economic backwardness. The solution for this problem was obvious. What was needed was a set of eugenic policies that would raise the Irish IQ.

    “HN: This sounds a bit scary!

    “RL: Indeed. I reflected on the likely headlines I would get if I wrote one of the monographs that the ESRI produced analysing the problem and its solution. Headlines like ‘Professor advocates sterilizing the mentally retarded’ and ‘Incentives for graduates to have more children.’ I didn’t see these going down well. Ireland is a deeply conservative and Catholic country and the Catholics had been the only group that opposed eugenic programs in the first half of the twentieth century, when everyone else thought these were sensible. Virtually no-one supported eugenic programs any more and anyone who proposed doing so would be accused of being a Nazi.”

    you do realize that “a set of eugenic policies” does NOT have to include sterilising people, right? it could instead involve, like lynn suggested in one of the envisioned newspaper headlines, incentives for higher-iq individuals to have children. or, in the case of the irish, for them to stay in the country!

    if you remember the other place where lynn wrote about his proposed plan in more detail, please let me know. until then, please don’t slander him … or anyone else … on this blog. thanks.

    Reply

  31. @irishman – “You are mistaken. The PR Germany and Scandinavia have is based on list systems. This is a closed political system unlike the Irish system.”

    no, i’m not mistaken. you’re the one who said the problem was proportional representation. if you meant it was the single transferable vote system that was the problem, you should’ve said so.

    but i’m still not mistaken. the problem you’ve got in your democratic system — judging by the TONS of books and articles and theses that have been written about it — is patronage. you’re known for it. (again, see the links i offered above, or do a google/google books search yourself.)

    and the irish are known for it (patronage in politics) in the u.s. as well — in a country where there is NOT proportional representation, single transferable vote or otherwise! neither of the two mayor daleys of chicago (where i grew up) learned their politics in ireland — they were born and bred in chicago. but they were all about patronage politics!

    the irish are clannish. not at all as clannish as the arabs — not even as clannish as the albanians — but more clannish than the anglos. you may not have rampant corruption (i.e. maybe people don’t have to pay bribes all the time for whatever services they need), but you’ve got patronage. people doing and expecting favors from others. if you’ve never experienced that over there, well you must live a sheltered life. (~_^)

    Reply

  32. @irishman – “The reason they do better in Britain is because they attract a better standard of person. The situation is not analogous to the North where attending a faith school is not a question of parental motivation but ethnicity.”

    but are you certain that it’s not that a better class of native irish attend the catholic schools in n.i.? like the gaelic schools in the republic?

    Reply

  33. you do realize that “a set of eugenic policies” does NOT have to include sterilising people, right? it could instead involve, like lynn suggested in one of the envisioned newspaper headlines, incentives for higher-iq individuals to have children. or, in the case of the irish, for them to stay in the country!

    if you remember the other place where lynn wrote about his proposed plan in more detail, please let me know. until then, please don’t slander him … or anyone else … on this blog. thanks.

    I’ll tell you what, if he sues, ring Dublin and ask for Irishman, they know who I am…

    but are you certain that it’s not that a better class of native irish attend the catholic schools in n.i.? like the gaelic schools in the republic?

    No. The situation does not resemble faith schools in England or Gaelic schools in the Republic. Virtually the entire Irish Catholic population attends catholic schools. Of those that don’t there is no reason to believe we’re talking about the bottom of the barrel. Social housing is largely segregated so communities stay together and apart from each other. If anything the reverse of what your suggesting is true… with bourgeois Irish in the north more likely to send their kids to integrated schools. This segregation is a conscious one wanted and maintained by both sides. The reason the state school system in the north remained under state control rather than evolve into a separate religious one was precisely because Catholics kept to their own.

    no, i’m not mistaken. you’re the one who said the problem was proportional representation. if you meant it was the single transferable vote system that was the problem, you should’ve said so.

    but i’m still not mistaken. the problem you’ve got in your democratic system — judging by the TONS of books and articles and theses that have been written about it — is patronage. you’re known for it. (again, see the links i offered above, or do a google/google books search yourself.)

    and the irish are known for it (patronage in politics) in the u.s. as well — in a country where there is NOT proportional representation, single transferable vote or otherwise! neither of the two mayor daleys of chicago (where i grew up) learned their politics in ireland — they were born and bred in chicago. but they were all about patronage politics!

    Yes you are mistaken.
    You clearly didn’t understand my criticism of your analysis. I never claimed that Ireland does not have patronage. I claimed that Ireland was not a clannish society. I claimed the patronage in Irish politics had more to do with the electoral system that Irish clannishness. Ireland displays few of the features of a clannish society. Ireland is a high trust and cohesive society, not to the extent say Sweden is, but more so than most everywhere else. When Ireland was a clannish society, this was not the case. We were not very ethnocenric(easy tolerance of the early english and norman settlers) and did not have a stable state.

    Tammany hall politics exist long before Irish people showed up, and existed long after we were pushed aside. That a large, alienated, and politicised group such as Irish people should get involved should be of no surprise at all.

    Scanning(that’s all I’m doing, I just worked a shift and am really tired, forgive me) through your earlier posts about the Irish I think I may be able to pinpoint your point of misunderstanding of Ireland. You write:

    unfortunately, i don’t know what happened next. (argh!) i know that by the 1800s the roman catholic irish did, generally, obey the church’s teachings on cousin marriage, etc., but i’m not sure what happened in the intervening centuries from the late 1500s until the 1800s. i think (i hope!) the answers lie in this book…
    Ireland in the 1500s was a basically independent set of petty kingdoms with a strong English presence in Dublin and a vague English claim to rule the country which didn’t mean much of anything in most of the country. The Tudor Conquest culminating in the Nine Years war finished off that political system and the Cromwellian conquest began the process by which the Irish were essentially reduced to serfs. This was the main reason for the end of Irish clannishness. The book you quote reads an awful lot like a book of exceptions which prove a rule.

    the irish are clannish. not at all as clannish as the arabs — not even as clannish as the albanians — but more clannish than the anglos. you may not have rampant corruption (i.e. maybe people don’t have to pay bribes all the time for whatever services they need), but you’ve got patronage. people doing and expecting favors from others. if you’ve never experienced that over there, well you must live a sheltered life. (~_^)

    To say that the Irish are clannish but not as clannish as others but more clannish than the least clannish people in the world is a meaningless thing to say. It’s like calling Kobe Bryant short but not as short as Gary Coleman but still short because shaquille o’neal is taller than him. Irish patronage resembles American patronage. It’s about bacon for the county, not bacon for family. Even that system of patronage has basically collapsed over the last twenty years. I canvass for a political party and no-one talks about local issues anymore. Politics has nationalised.

    Next you’ll be telling me Americans are clannish too.

    Reply

  34. @chrisdavies
    “Almost certainly this is because Northern Ireland never scrapped the Grammar School system which Britain used to have. In the 1960s”

    Yes i think so. Regardless of whether an individual agrees specifically with grammar schools their survival in a region is also a proxy for escaping the 1968-er educational revolution re school discipline, exams over coursework etc so basically grammar schools are a sign the local education system isn’t politically correct and will produce better results with similar inputs.

    Reply

  35. @irishman – “I’ll tell you what, if he sues, ring Dublin and ask for Irishman, they know who I am…”

    (^_^) (^_^) (^_^)

    nevertheless … my blog, my rules.

    i will not have any falsehoods about or slanders against ANYbody on my blog here. we already have enough of that with all the watsonings going on nowadays.

    the internet is a wide and wonderful place, and there are probably tens of thousands of websites where you could go to b*tch and moan about richard lynn. you could even establish your own blog and do it there! but not here. (you can b*tch and moan about him here, of course, but in the context of verfied statements [when they’re controversial].)

    if you happen to find that other source in which, if you’re recalling correctly (and we all recall things incorrectly sometimes), lynn said that “a large portion of the Irish population” should be sterilised, please feel free to reproduce it here.

    thanks for your cooperation.

    Reply

  36. @irishman – “I claimed that Ireland was not a clannish society…. Ireland displays few of the features of a clannish society. Ireland is a high trust and cohesive society….”

    no, the irish don’t live in clans anymore, i am aware of that. but they are clannISH (more family oriented, esp. extended family, less civic, less liberally democratic, more corruption) to a certain degree — or, as mark weiner would say, they exhibit a certain amount of “clannism.”

    @irishman – “…not to the extent say Sweden is, but more so than most everywhere else.”

    well, but that’s what i said above, i just didn’t use the swedes as my example:

    “the irish are clannish. not at all as clannish as the arabs — not even as clannish as the albanians — but more clannish than the anglos.”
    _____

    @irishman – “To say that the Irish are clannish but not as clannish as others but more clannish than the least clannish people in the world is a meaningless thing to say.”

    no, it’s not. clannishness should be viewed as a spectrum.

    the pattern seems to be that, the longer and greater the inbreeding, the more clannish — and the opposite — the longer and greater the outbreeding, the less clannish.

    if we take 1 as the least clannish and 10 as the most clannish, i would rate various groups as follows (these are today’s judgements — i reserve the right to alter these as i go forward and learn more about all of these populations!):

    1 – the english (not all of them — probably not the cornish, for instance), some of the dutch
    2 – the scandinavians
    3 or 4 – the irish
    6-7 – the italians, the greeks, the chinese
    7-8 – the albanians
    10 – the yanomamo
    11 – the arabs

    note: the arabs have been marrying cousins probably for at least two thousand years, and for much of that time they’ve been practicing a particular form of cousin marriage known as father’s brother’s daughter’s (fbd) marriage which, to cut a long story short, winds up in a lot of SUPER close cousin marriage. in effect, they frequently wind up marrying their DOUBLE first cousins.

    Reply

  37. @irishman – “Tammany hall politics exist long before Irish people showed up….”

    yes, but they took to it like fish to water! (~_^) and, then, you apparently — according to the sources i linked to above — maintain it in your own country. if you weren’t prone to it, you wouldn’t have it.

    (boss tweed was scots-irish, btw. (~_^) )

    Reply

  38. @irishman – “Ireland in the 1500s was a basically independent set of petty kingdoms with a strong English presence in Dublin and a vague English claim to rule the country which didn’t mean much of anything in most of the country. The Tudor Conquest culminating in the Nine Years war finished off that political system and the Cromwellian conquest began the process by which the Irish were essentially reduced to serfs.”

    yes, i know all that, thanks. the bits that i am missing wrt the late-1500s to the 1800s are the mating patterns of the irish. that’s what i don’t know, and what i’d like to know.

    what i do know is that, right up until the late-1500s, the irish were marrying pretty closely. then, by the 1800s, they’re not. they’re avoiding first and second cousin marriages like good roman catholics. (much better than the italians in modern times!) what i want to know is, what happened? did the english impose some anti-cousin marriage laws? did the catholic church in ireland, in response to the attempted imposition of protestantism there, double-down on its marriage regulations in ireland? did the irish start following the catholic church’s regulations more devoutly because they were p*ssed off about the penal laws?

    i don’t know. that’s the “something” that i want to know about.

    @irishman – “The book you quote reads an awful lot like a book of exceptions which prove a rule.”

    which book?

    Reply

  39. “did the irish start following the catholic church’s regulations more devoutly because they were p*ssed off about the penal laws?”

    That’s quite plausible now you mention it. I remember reading somewhere – can’t remember where – that the Catholic Church became more culturally dominant due to the overthrow of the Irish secular leadership as a form of under the radar rebellion.

    Reply

  40. 1500 – 1800 in Ireland was a period of economic expansion with a large growth in population and the firm establishment of market towns. So in the towns at least, we can suppose a reduction in cousin marriage. Also, the Cromwellian settlement took place so populations were disturbed.

    Reply

  41. @philip – “So in the towns at least, we can suppose a reduction in cousin marriage.”

    ‘fraid we can’t assume that. throughout the urbanization process in nineteenth century europe, cousin marriage rates actually went UP in urban areas (see latter half of this post). difficult to guess what peoples will do in new situations.

    Reply

  42. I am talking pre 19th Century. This was a period, particularly early on, where towns needed regular replenishment of population from the countryside. The death rate in medieval towns (and the word used is town not city) is often stated to have been in excess of natural reproduction. That would have skewed the situation. I agree that 19th century immigration may have been very different. It was in industrial Wales where like grouped with like and the Italians, Spanish, Irish, Yemeni and English surnames still cluster. The Jews have mostly left for Israel but they clustered too. 20th Century immigration in most rich countries has been characterised by ghettoisation, particularly among the poor. However, these people were not dying like flies.

    Reply

  43. @philip – “I am talking pre 19th Century.”

    yeah. you still can’t assume moving to urban areas means less inbreeding. germans in medieval (1500s-1700s) gdansk tended to marry within their clans. chain migration is really not that difficult of a thing, even in pre-industrial societies.

    it’s really not safe to assume anything about mating patterns, because people will surprise you. need to find actual data.

    Reply

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