Common carp (Cyprinus carpio) are an introduced fish in Ireland, having been present since at least the early 17th century. Although their Irish distribution has expanded in recent years (due to increased interest in recreational angling), historically they maintained a limited distribution on the periphery of their European range. Research indicates that carp in Ireland originate from limited gene pools. The genetic implications of this were investigated at seven microsatellite DNA loci, with the aim of providing a genetic baseline. Results support the historical data and peripheral nature of Irish populations, which generally show low genetic variation and high differentiation. Additionally, five distinct strains were identified. This information can be used to establish how they differ biologically and ecologically, and how they will possibly impact freshwater environments, recreational angling and the genetic composition of certain populations. The formation of a carp management plan, which incorporates genetic monitoring, is highly recommended.