Lord Rosse

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Prof Peter Gallagher watches on as guest of honour astrophysicist Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell admires Lord Rosse’s tie – inspired by Van Gogh’s Starry Night, which drew inspiration from the galaxies discovered using the giant telescope at Birr Castle in the 19th century. Photograph: Jeff Harvey

The Low Frequency Array radio telescope at Birr Castle, known as I-LOFAR, has contributed significantly to international space research since it was i(...)

Irish fashion designer Sybil Connolly at her Dublin fashion house in 1965. The key to entertaining was “staff”, she said. Photograph: Getty Images

A friend once gave me a pocket mirror with a vintage photograph of people wearing party hats, and the words “She was a hostess with the mostess” on it(...)

A detail of Red Weed, part of Astronomical Mashup at the Lab, Dublin by Lucy McKenna. Photograph: Peter Varga

Lucy McKenna isn’t what you would expect. From her work I had imagined someone intense, nerdy and scientific in a scary way. Her artist’s CV includes:(...)

Lord and Lady Rosse of Birr Castle and Tom Roche of Just Forests with the poplar after hearing it had been accepted as Ireland’s nominee in the European Tree of the Year 2014 competition. Photograph: Just Forests

It may go down in history as the tree that died for Ireland. A giant grey poplar, it had stood for 200 years in the gardens of Birr C(...)