The plan presented in Brussels to create a new super powerful telescope at Birr Castle, has been hailed as ‘impressive’ by Jim Higgins, MEP for the Midlands-North-West Region.
LOFAR (Low Frequency Array) is a next-generation radio telescope that is currently being deployed across Europe, with stations already operating in the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, the UK and France. Other stations are planned in Italy, Poland, Latvia and at Birr in Co. Offaly in Ireland.
Speaking after the event, MEP Higgins said, “The is aim to build a cutting-edge radio telescope in Birr Castle Demesne, and join the International LOFAR network. LOFAR will give new views of the Universe and inspire young scientists and engineers. The Birr project could one day become a tourist interpretive centre if successful. The project is ambitious, but I am confident the team behind the project will succeed and they gave an excellent presentation here in Brussels today. The Birr plan is Big, Bold and Brilliant. It will be of great benefit to the next generation. I’ll be there to support them at EU level in every possible way.”
As it is, Birr Castle already attracts 50,000 visitors year.
“The project will build on the success of the existing facility, and help turn Birr into the capital of European Science, Astrology and Innovation,” noted Fine Gael’s Jim Higgins. I-LOFAR are seeking Donors to support this exciting project, following generous donations from Dermot Desmond, Denis O’Brien and Joe Hogan.