The county of Offaly and the town of Clara has a pep in its step this morning.

Shane Lowry's victory at the Open Championship is the reason why people are beaming. For those who were around in 1982 when Offaly stopped Kerry in their drive for five All-Ireland titles, they now have a reference point to measure such happiness.

Former referee and now chairperson of Clara GAA, Brian Gavin believes Lowry's heroics at Royal Portrush is "Offaly's greatest achievement".

Speaking on Morning Ireland, he said: "Offaly's best day was Seamus Darby in 1982. I think now when we sit down over the next weeks and reflect on what Shane has done I believe it will stand out as the greatest sporting achievement in the Faithful County."

Lowry's interest in GAA is well known and it's no surprise given that his father Brendan and his uncles were part of that Offaly team that made their own bit of history some 37 years ago.

"When Clara does well and Offaly does well, Shane's in good form," Gavin added.

"When they don't do well, Shane does not be in good form. That's what the GAA means to him in particular.

"Shane's a genuine nice fellow who never forgot Clara and never forgot Offaly."

The 2019 Open champion did pay tribute to his parents in the aftermath of his Open success, adding that the win was a payback for the sacrifices they made when he started out.

Picking up on that point, Gavin said: "It was a difficult time for the Lowrys when Shane was starting off as he tried to make his mark on the amateur scene.

"Both his parents, Brendan and Bridget worked very, very hard and made a lot of sacrifices.

"It was a big gamble for them to let him follow his dream. Every day he'd be in Esker Hills practising.

"In no uncertain terms did Shane pay them back yesterday."

Esker Hills green-keeper Willie Allen spoke about the "resilient" Shane Lowry as he remembered him as a youngster starting out.

"I remember watching Shane hitting the ball on the fairway and then chipping around the greens.

"Esker Hills is a tough test for golf and that's where Shane learned his craft.

"I asked his brother Alan, 'maybe you'll follow Shane some day'?

"He told me 'If I was behind a tree, I'd be looking to get out. Shane would be trying to get to the green'.

"Nothing bothers him. Nothing daunts him."

Above all, he has time for everyone. When I meet him, he will always ask about my son Bernard, who plays for Offaly.

"He never forgets where he's from."