Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and the police officer who arrested him at his home both actually share the same line of Irish heritage, according to a report on the Web site Irish Central.
Niall O'Dowd writes that Gates' Irish ancestry dates back to Niall of the Nine Hostages, a famous Irish chieftain who conquered much of Europe in the 4th century AD.
Similarly, the police officer who arrested him, Sergeant James Crowley, is also of Irish decent, with his heritage tracing back to the very same chieftain.
As is well known by now, the confrontation between the Harvard professor and Sgt. Crowley has sparked the nation's latest debate over racial profiling after Gates was arrested at his home two weeks ago. After a controversy in which even President Obama got involved, the two will meet for beers with Mr. Obama at the White House on Thursday.
According to the aritcle, which has been reprinted by ABC News, Gates discovered his roots during a PBS series back in 2008 and shares 11 out of 12 DNA matches with offsprings of Niall of the Nine Hostages.
"I'm descended from a white man. A white man who slept with a black slave. And we know from the analysis of my DNA that ….goes back to Ireland. So maybe you can help me," Gates said on the series
The genealogist on the series did confirm the Irish links.
In Gaelic, Crowley literally means "hardy warrior." Niall of the Nine Hostages was a prolific Irish warlord who created one of the most dominant strains due to his many children. The report says millions of Irish Americans may be descended from him.
O'Dowd calls the revelation as "one of the more extraordinary aspects of the incident which has sparked worldwide headlines."