IrTimes: 'his cousin recalled. “He would joke that his father, Christy, had cut the turf and had made everything in it – the kids, the creels – except for the ass!” '.
I was interviewed by Swedish TV in the 1990s about the curious fact of the red-headed Irish; I suspect because I was the only one in the Genetics Department when they called. In any case, I was the only one who would have been able to segue the conversation into a discussion of the frequency of red-haired cats in Donegal. The cats in the NW have an unusually high frequency of the Orange gene, as I discovered while working for my first scientific grant in 1978. I was testing a hypothesis (we called it grandly the historical migration hypothesis) that Vikings had brought cats from Scandinavia in their langskip and by an accident of genetic sampling included a disproportionate number of orange ones. It was built on the observation of really high frequencies of the "O" gene in known Viking foundations like Orkney and Shetland.
I had a lovely, lonely time tooling about the County that Spring in a Citroen Dyane scoping out cats and determining their genetic makeup. So I'll thank again my sponsors - The Donegal Historical Society - who took a risky punt in awarding a scientist the Harley Bequest grant that year.