Nineteen cattle bones from the Viking 10th and early 11th century levels in Dublin were assessed for presence of reliable genotypes from three autosomal markers. Due to the good preservational condition of the samples. It was possible to amplify and type at least two out of three of the microsatellite markers (CSRM60, HEL1 and ILSTS001) in 11 specimens. Full three-loci genotypes were obtained from a subset of seven of these samples. A comparative analysis was performed using data from the same three markers in 11 extant British, Irish and Nordic cattle breeds. Although the medieval remains displayed lower levels of diversity than the modern European breeds, the results fit within the ranges obtained from the extant populations. The results indicate a probable origin for the ancient Irish cattle as the remains group significantly more closely with breeds from the British Isles than with those from Scandinavia. The data collected indicate that microsatellites may be useful for the further study of ancient cattle.