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Columnar Distillation: Aeneas Coffey
Aeneas Coffey may be Ireland's and also St. Paddy's Day's greatest legacy. You see, prior to the invention of the columnar distillation process, the manufacturing of distilled alcoholic beverages — whiskeys, vodkas, gins, rums, brandies, tequilas, you name it — all were done with "pot stills," or small-scale production processes which were not economically feasible for mass production of these boozy libations.
So when you're having your Irish Coffee the day after St. Pat's to bring you out of your hangover, thank another Coffey: Mr. Aeneas, for allowing whiskey to be consumed by Irish and hard drinkers the world over.
Atom Smashing: Ernest Walton
Before there was a Large Hadron Accelerator to validate the existence of the Higgs Boson, before the Atomic Bomb, before the first Atomic pile built by Enrico Fermi, there was the Cockcroft-Walton Generator, an early form of the particle accelerator. It was co-developed by Irishman Ernest Walton and John Cockcroft at Cambridge University during the 1930s, and made Walton the first man to artificially split the atom and the only Irishman to ever win a Nobel Prize in Science.
Ship Building: Belfast
Some of the world's most famous ocean-going vessels, including the RMS Titanic and both of its sister vessels, Olympic and Britannic, were built at the shipyards in Belfast, in Northern Ireland.
Among the most prolific of shipbuilders during the Gilded Age was Harland & Wolff, which is still in business today, but now focuses much of its efforts on offshore renewable energy. In addition to the Olympic class vessels, the modern ocean liners Southern Cross and Canberra, the company built a number of the UK's aircraft carriers and cruisers.