The US president's ancestral home, a world-famous whiskey, and an extinct volcano. What more need we say!Getty Images

Alright, Cavan, you've had your week in the sun, but that was merely a taster – now it's time for the main event.

Yes, the finest attractions, events, places and people (yours truly included) of the Faithful County are here to show you why Offaly is the greatest place on this planet.

Sure, we may not have the romance or the public toilets of the Breifne County, but when you can claim a President of the United States, a world-famous whiskey, a rock the boat world record and an extinct volcano, it doesn't really matter now, does it?

So if you're planning on visiting Ireland any time soon, here are 13 reasons why you should hop in your car and head inland for a truly unique Irish experience:

1. We gave birth to US President Barack Obama



Not literally, of course – that would be a medical impossibility but the current US President can trace his ancestry all the way back to the tiny village of Moneygall in the south-west of the county. Don't believe us? Here's a sign:

Oh, and he also visited back in 2011. So there.

You wouldn't see him as happy in Cavan, that's for sure.

2. It's home to one of Ireland's only extinct volcanoes...



Standing out like a sore thumb in a county flatter than a steamrolled pancake, the 234-metre high Croghan Hill commands quite a view over much of the eastern half of the county. But there's a very good reason for its relative isolation. It is the remains of an extinct volcano.

Sadly (thankfully), there's no chance of any Dante's Peak-style shenanigans here since it's been dead for thousands of years, but it does make for a very cool obstacle course.

3. ...and a world-famous whiskey



True story: this writer was in one of those dodgy electronics shops in Times Square, New York back in 2000 when the owner, on hearing we were Irish, asked were we from Tullamore. Not Dublin or Cork, but Tullamore. Now I suspect that the man had never set foot outside Times Square, let alone New York, so we came to the conclusion that he had a fondness for one of Ireland's most popular exports, Tullamore Dew.

The whiskey was first produced in the town in 1829, although sadly that's not the case anymore (it's now made in Middleton, Co Cork). Still, you can visit the excellent visitor's center in the town center today, detailing the long and fine tradition of whiskey-making in the Midlands. 

4. We've been around quite a long time




This rather leathery-looking torso belonged to an Iron Age man, who has since become known as the Old Croghan man. The remarkably well-preserved body was found buried in a bog near Croghan Hill in 2003 and is estimated to be over 2,000 years old.

According to the National Museum on Dublin's Kildare Street, where he is now on display, the Old Croghan man is believed to have died from a stab wound to the chest. He had been decapitated and his body cut in half. He also has a scar on his arm, possible evidence that he tried to defend himself.

Thankfully, it's much safer nowadays.

5. Offaly's bogs power the island...




While the number of power plants in the county may have dropped significantly in recently years with the decommissioning of Ferbane and Rhode ESB stations, the peat-fired power plants at Edenderry and Shannonbridge (and the hydro-electric station at Belmont) still contribute a significant amount of power to Ireland's national grid (approx one-twelfth of all output).

And this looks set to continue in future. Plans to construct thousands of wind turbines across the county are afoot, meaning we'll be giving the rest of country wind in addition to our hot air for years to come.

6. ...but we respect their beauty



Sure they may sometimes look (and smell) like a recently slurried field, but the bog has an inherent natural beauty – and we're making the most of it.

Thousands of hectares of cutaway bog have been transformed into parkland, like the nature reserve at Boora Bog. It's no Grand Canyon, but we'll take it

7. We were pioneers in the fight against cancer



The man who developed radiotherapy in the treatment of cancer was born in Offaly. Look, I'm just as shocked as you are, but we're going to have to deal with it.

John Joly from Bracknagh was a bit of a whizz-kid when it came to all things science. He's also known for developing techniques to accurately estimate the age of a geological period, based on radioactive something or other.

8. Some of Ireland's finest musicians call Offaly home


We have Mundy…



9. Birr Castle was home to the world's largest telescope



While the rest of the country was looking into the gutters, Offalians were looking at the stars. The Leviathan of Parsonstown (to give it its official name) was the largest telescope in the world between 1845 and 1917.

10. Clonmacnoise is one of Ireland's most important monastic settlements (and it's in fine nick too)



11. Even ghosts want to live there

Kinnity Castle outside Tullamore and Leap Castle near Birr are often described as two of Ireland's most haunted locations – and both have featured heavily on those ghost-hunting television series too. You know the ones.


12. Offaly is positively balmy in the summer



If you're looking to catch a few rays, the Faithful County is the place to be. The highest air temperature recorded during the 20th Century was at Boora on 29 June 1976. So how hot are we talking? A scorchio 32.5°C.

13. Edenderry students are the fittest in the country



Students at Oaklands Community College in Edenderry were once named the fittest in Ireland a few years ago after a national assessment carried out by DCU and the Wellness Economic Initiative Alliance. The lads and lassies beat out 218 other schools from around the country.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to do my crunches.