The 2019 Open champion Shane Lowry is set to become a sponsor of his native Offaly GAA.
The Faithful County will later today announce the World No44 golfer will come on board as a financial backer of playing structures in the county, particularly at underage. He will also lend his profile and expertise to commercial and fundraising activities.
The Irish Examiner understands Lowry approached the county executive about helping the promotion of Gaelic games in the county.
Son of 1982 All-Ireland SFC winner Brendan and nephew of Mick and Seán, 34-year-old Lowry is steeped in Offaly GAA heritage and his own love of Gaelic games is well-known.
In an interview last year, he said: “We lived — and, still to this day — live and breathe GAA down there. Even though Offaly, we are not going through the best patch we still love it and we still go to every game. Just growing up that was all we wanted to do.
"All I wanted to do when I was younger was play football, and play football for Offaly. Growing up in Clara, we are a football club mainly not much hurling, I just loved it but I played every sport.”
Asked before about his greatest sports hero, Lowry replied: "I suppose Johnny Dooley, who was a hurler, but now I would say 'Gooch' Cooper. I admire him a lot.”
He also joked about the number of former GAA players who wanted to congratulate after his famous win in Royal Portrush.
"Michael Duignan (now Offaly GAA chairman) texted me and asked can he give my number to Henry Shefflin and Brian Whelahan. I said you can give my number to any legends like that! I’ve had messages from great people.”
Two years ago, Lowry was invited by the GAA to parade the Claret Jug at Croke Park prior to the All-Ireland SHC semi-final between Kilkenny and Limerick. He dedicated his RTÉ Sportsperson of the Year award to the late Clara footballer John Buckley who died just days before the ceremony.
Lowry's partnership with Offaly GAA involves a personal annual financial contribution over the next five years.
Offaly chairman Michael Duignan said: “On behalf of Offaly GAA, I wish to sincerely thank Shane for coming on board as a Partner of Offaly GAA. We are all excited by the prospect of working with Shane in the coming years as we strive to improve the fortunes of the county.
"Shane has inspired us all in Offaly by the way he has progressed to the upper echelons of world golf and we are all extremely proud of his achievements. Shane has pledged his support to help our players of all ages to fulfil their potential. His passion, ambition and honesty of endeavour, while at all times remaining humble and grounded, are leadership attributes that we are looking to enhance in the culture of Offaly GAA.
"We are on a journey in Offaly GAA and it is fantastic to have Shane on board particularly supporting our coaching and games initiatives, which we hope will benefit all our clubs and players. Offaly GAA are also very thankful that Shane has committed to support Offaly GAA financially and we are very grateful for his commitment to offer his time to help our players and support our commercial and fundraising initiatives.
"The Lowry name has always been synonymous with excellence within Offaly GAA and we once again thank Shane for joining us on the Offaly GAA journey.”