Someone made the statement that Scots and Irish people are basically the same race Are they right?

If by "race", you are referring to physical attributes and genetics, and not cultural aspects, then the simple answer is: Yes, Scots and Irish are the same race (not "basically", but definitely, the same race).

The British Isles was first populated in roughly 8,000 BCE, with people from the continental European Mesolithic tribes. There have been successive waves of conquest and immigration to both Britain and Ireland, occurring at slightly different times, but generally indistinguishable.

  • Celtic tribes started arriving around 800 BCE, and continued waves of Celts arrived for then next 600 years.
  • The Romans arrived in Britain around 100 BCE, and conquered it shortly after 1 A.D. While the Romans did not conquer Ireland, there is significant archeological evidence that significant trade and some Roman settlements existed in Ireland.
  • Around 1000 AD, the Gaelic people of Ireland invaded northern Britain, merging with the local population, to form what we now call Scots.
  • Southern Britain was invaded by a variety of Germanic folks, forming the group we now call the Anglo-Saxons.
  • The subsequent conquest of Southern Britain in 1066 by the Norman French of the Anglo-Saxons gave rise what is now called the English.
  • English conquest of both Ireland and Scotland has led to significant intermarriage of all three groups.

Thus, effectively, all non-recent immigrants of the British Isles are a mix of: Celts (from a variety of tribes), Romans, Anglos, Saxons, Jutes, and Normans.

Racially, there are some minor variations, particularly with respect to the frequency of certain skin, hair, and eye colors, but this is a minor thing - genetically, they're all the same race.

Now, culturally and politically, they're miles apart...