04 Oct 2022

Central Bank launch coin in honour of famous Offaly man


Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin (Assistant Professor at the School of Mathematics and Statistics, UCD), Sir Brendan Parsons (7th Earl of Rosse, Lord Rosse) and Lady Rosse

Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin (Assistant Professor at the School of Mathematics and Statistics, UCD), Sir Brendan Parsons (7th Earl of Rosse, Lord Rosse) and Lady Rosse

The Central Bank of Ireland has launched a special €15 silver proof limited edition commemorative coin to commemorate the life and work of Offaly's Sir Charles Algernon Parsons (1854-1931), inventor of the steam turbine. 

Sir Charles Parsons grew up in Birr Castle, Co. Offaly, where Birr Castle Science and Garden centre now attracts science enthusiasts from around the globe. His father, the Third Earl built the famous Great Telescope while his mother Mary Rosse was a famous pioneering photographer.

Parsons' invention of the steam turbine engine was a major breakthrough in electrical engineering and electric power generation. His steam turbines revolutionised marine transportation and naval warfare, increasing both the speed and efficiency of sea-faring vessels. 

This silver proof coin features a portrait of the engineer with an early model of his steam turbine engine, encircled by an inscription and representation of turbine blades. The coin was designed by Antonella Napolione to honour the achievements of Sir Charles Algernon Parsons and has been struck in .925 sterling silver by BH Mayer Mint.

The launch of the coin today, September 1, was attended by the current Birr Castle residents, Sir Brendan Parsons (Lord Rosse), the 7th Earl of Rosse, and his wife, Lady Rosse, as well as Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin, Assistant Professor at the School of Mathematics and Statistics, UCD. 

The Charles Algernon Parsons coin has a limit of 6,000 pieces and is available to purchase for €60. This is the third coin in the Central Bank’s Science and Invention Series, all of which are now available to purchase online, along with other available commemorative coins and collector coin sets.

The commemorative coin is now available to purchase online from the newly launched website

If you have a story for us, sports news, an event happening in your area, or if you want to submit pictures or videos, contact the Offaly Express team via email to, or through our Facebook.

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