The research is based on new genetic data

New research has revealed the average Irish adult has more than 14,000 living relatives.

But 99% of these are completely unknown to us.

The research, released on World DNA Day, is based on new genetic data from the AncestryDNA network.

Across the Republic of Ireland, those in the province of Ulster have the most living connections - with the typical person there having an average just over 17,000 genetic cousins.

Irish homespuns, carding wool and spinning in the Donegal Highlands | Image: Supplied

This contrasts with Connacht, where the number drops to 13,504 - a lower figure than anywhere else in the country.

Munster sees the second highest number of living connections, with the average person there having just over 14,000 cousins.

Leinster is the second lowest, with an average of 13,706 relatives.

Russell James from AncestryDNA said: "DNA Day commemorates scientific discovery and the key milestones that forever changed our understanding of the code that makes us who we are.

"We've come a long way since the double helix was discovered in 1953 and the fact that we're now able to use that pioneering science in our own homes to enrich our lives and make new connections with relatives we never knew existed is remarkable."