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

15 reasons why Offaly is the greatest place in the world (PHOTOS)

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The US president's ancestral home, a world-famous whiskey, and an extinct volcano. What more need we say! Photo by: 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 15 reasons why you should hop in your car and head inland for a truly unique Irish experience:

1. Rhode, Co Offaly holds the current 'Rock the Boat' world record

While us Offaly men are not generally known for our slick dancefloor moves, we can handle sitting on the ground and rocking from side to side (usually later on in the night). It's just as well really, because the flamenco world record was a tall order to beat.

So on 3 May this year, the people of Rhode and beyond took on their biggest challenge yet: the 'Rock the Boat' world record. They came, all 1,500 of them, in the wind and rain and won the title from Armagh. We haven't stood up since for showing off.

2. 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.

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

Standing out like a sore thumb in a county flatter than a steam-rolled 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.

4. ...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 centre in the town centre today, detailing the long and fine tradition of whiskey-making in the Midlands. 

5. 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 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.

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

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