Hispanic people in North and Central America might not consider themselves to have an Irish lineage, but if you go back a few thousand years there is grounds for a common heritage between the Hispanic and Irish people. A branch of Celtic people settled in the northern Iberian Peninsula in what it is now Spain around 300 BC. These Celts also settled in what is now Ireland at a later time.
The Iberian peninsula comprises an area of Western Spain, Portugal, France, Gibraltar, and Andorra. The Greeks discovered the Iberian Peninsula moving westward and the name Iberia was first recorded for the area around 500 BC. Latin authors used the name Hispania for this area of Europe.
Hispanics and Irish Heritage: The Celts
The Celts were thought to be a warlike people who engaged in guerilla tactics known in the area.
Irish usually trace their lineage to Celts who were thought to have come from Central Europe, but recent DNA analysis of bloodlines shows that Irish have the closest relatives in Northern Spain.
Irish having closest relatives in northern Spain makes sense if you consider that boats were used to travel from place to place. So instead of crossing from Central Europe, France, Great Britain and Wales, the Celts might have sailed from the habitable coastline in Spain.
Based on genetic analysis men with Gaelic names have the highest incidence of haplogroup 1 gene, which were direct descendents of those who settled Ireland from Spain.
These Celts on the Iberian peninsula then were part of the group of Spaniards who many centuries later came to the new world and settled in what is now North, Central and South America. After settling in the New World, many Spaniards made families with native Americans in the area, creating a Hispanic population that is often mixed.
Many Hispanics can trace some of their bloodlines to Spaniards that settled into present day North, Central and South American Spanish speaking countries.
A large majority of Hispanics are mestizos, or mixed European and Native American ancestry due to decades of colonization and settlement. If some of these Spaniards also had Celtic blood as the Irish do, then Hispanics and Irish should be distant cousins.
Interestingly enough this R1b DNA subgroup is also found in Hispanic men in North and South America.
If you are Hispanic and have a bloodline that is partially from Europe, there is a chance that part of that lineage is Celtic. The Celts have the purest blood in areas of Ireland where little racial mixture has happened, but their bloodlines have spread far beyond there.
Much like Hispanic Jews, although it may not seem obvious on the surface, Celtic blood may be coursing through the veins of many Hispanics. Ironically, however, the Spanish came before the Irish in this case.
So are Hispanics and Irish cousins? In many cases, they almost certainly are. The Spaniards genetically have less in common with the Greeks or the Finnish or even the British than they do with Irish people. How you stack up individually requires a genetic test.