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Ireland’s Antarctic Explorers

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Ireland stands at the centre of the 100 year saga of Antarctic exploration. From the early 19th century discovery of Antarctica to the Heroic Age of the 20th century, Irishmen played a major role in almost every noteworthy episode of Antarctic exploration. These included the enigmatic Edward Bransfield to the pioneering Francis Crozier and to 20th figures like Tom Crean and Ernest Shackleton. But lesser known Irishman, Patrick Keohane, Robert Forde and the McCarthy brothers have incredible stories to tell. Michael Smith, the only writer to recount Ireland’s significant role in Antarctic exploration, commemorates St Patrick’s Day by recalling some fascinating and unfamiliar stories about the unique Irish link to Antarctica.

Michael Smith has written nine books on the history of Polar exploration, including biographies of Sir Ernest Shackleton, Tom Crean, Francis Crozier, Laurence Oates and Sir James Wordie. He has appeared in TV and radio documentaries and lectured at many prestigious venues, including: The Queen’s Gallery Buckingham Palace, Royal Geographical Society, National Maritime Museum, National Museum of Ireland, Princess Grace Memorial Library Monaco, Queen’s University Belfast, the Royal Scottish Geographical Society and Scott Polar Research Institute Cambridge. Michael is a former award-winning journalist with The Guardian and The Observer.

This talk is part of the Friends of Scott Polar Research Institute lecture series series.

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