In 2019 Shane Lowry from Clara in County Offaly won the British Golf Open and underlined his international sporting superstar status. But Lowry was not the first bearded superstar from Offaly. Bindon Blood Stoney was born in County Offaly in 1828 and he would go on to be an engineering heavyweight – though without getting the same acclaim as Lowry.
William Parsons put Offaly at the centre of global astronomy in 1845. He built the largest telescope in the world until the construction of the 100-inch (2.5 m) Hooker Telescope in California in 1917.