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Minister Halligan Switches on World Leading Radio Telescope: I-LOFAR

Published: 27th July 2017

Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan was at Birr Castle, Co. Offaly to switch on I-LOFAR telescope, the largest radio telescope in the world.

The International LOFAR (LOw Frequency ARray) Telescope is a €150 million network of radio telescopes distributed across Europe. Irish Government and agency investment in research has propelled Ireland to the forefront of radio astronomy.

The Irish telescope, I-LOFAR, is located at Birr, Co Offaly adjacent to the historic Leviathan telescope, which was built by the 3rd Earl of Rosse in 1845 and was the largest optical telescope in the world until 1917. The telescope in Birr has been supported with an award of €1.4 million from Science Foundation Ireland and the annual membership fee for LOFAR will be funded by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.

Speaking at the event the Minister of State John Halligan said:
I am delighted to turn the switch on I-LOFAR and link Ireland with our European partners in this pioneering research collaboration in astronomy. Membership of LOFAR affords a unique opportunity for research and engagement to young people across the country with astronomy and science in general. As Minister it is my distinct pleasure to be here to celebrate the achievement of such a wide section of the Irish scientific community.

Further information on I-LOFAR and its research programme is available here http://lofar.ie

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