DID CELTIC LANGUAGE AND CULTURE SPREAD FROM IRELAND INTO EUROPE? Whoriskey’s article also summarizes recent disputes about the development of the Irish language and culture. The traditional view has been that Celtic languages originated with the Celts in continental Europe and spread to Ireland, Wales and Scotland when the Celts moved into Ireland during the Iron Age. A current revisionist theory based on archaeological evidence is that the flow of Celtic culture and of the Celtic languages was opposite that of the traditional view — it flowed from the western edge of Europe (Portugal, Spain, Ireland) into the continent. The new DNA evidence supports the revisionist theory because it places people with Irish-related genes in Ireland long before the Celts had been thought to arrive.
Whoriskey quotes J.P. Mallory, an emeritus professor of archaeology at Queen’s University Belfast and the author of a book, THE ORIGINS OF THE IRISH, who is skeptical about efforts to trace migrations of peoples:
“These groups were frequently traveling east-west across Europe, from one place to another. Everyone is a mix.”