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Tom Crean Features In New Stamp Set Celebrating Ireland’s Role in Epic Antarctic Expeditions

18th April 2021
Two of the stamps in the new set, one of which features a sketch portrait of Tom Crean Two of the stamps in the new set, one of which features a sketch portrait of Tom Crean Credit: An Post

An Post has issued a new set of four stamps celebrating eight Irish men who played a significant role in the epic Antarctic expeditions of the 1800s and early 1900s.

Irish men were at the heart of the pioneering expeditions to Antarctica. Co Kildare-born Ernest Shackleton and Tom Crean, from Annascaul in Co Kerry, are two of the better known explorers, and have achieved worldwide recognition for their bravery and perseverance.

The other six men featured on the stamps, five from Cork, are less well known but no less important in the contributions they made to Antarctic exploration.

They include Edward Bransfield (from Ballincurra); Patrick Keohane (Courtmacsherry); Robert Forde (Bandon), brothers Mortimer and Tim McCarthy (Kinsale) and Francis Crozier (Banbridge, Co Down).

Leading Irish illustrator David Rooney explained how he wanted the stamps to shine a light on the impact Irish men had on Antarctic exploration.

“Like most people I was aware of the Shackleton and Crean expeditions, it was fascinating to delve into the adventures of a figure like Francis Crozier, who set out in 1839 as commander of HMS Terror on the Ross expedition,” he said.

“Crozier, his ship and all of his crew were subsequently lost, along with Sir John Franklin, on their ill-fated search for the North West Passage in the Arctic just a few years later.”

The four stamps, two for national postage and two for international, and a First Day Cover envelope are available at selected post offices and anpost.com/shop.

Published in News Update
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