DNA analysis allowed the researchers to track when and how quickly Travellers arose.

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The emergence of Irish Travellers as a distinct group occurred long before the Great Famine, a genetic analysis shows.

The study also indicates that while Travellers originally descended from the general Irish population, they are now very distinct from it.

There is also a lack of documentary evidence that reveals the history of the Irish Traveller population.

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It also sought to set a time for when the Traveller community began to form as a distinct and separate population.

Today there are between 29,000 and 40,000 Travellers in Ireland, representing 0.6 per cent of the total population.These in turn tend to match up with their social grouping and use of language.One cluster is associated with the “Rathkeale group” of Travellers.The research suggests that Traveller origins may in fact date as far back as 420 years to 1597.The Plantation of Ulster began around that time, with native Irish displaced from the land, perhaps to form a nomadic population.The research group “would be supportive of some form of ethnic status”.