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Displaying items by tag: Ernest Shackleton

Ireland and the Antarctic Treaty and the conservation of Ernest Shackleton’s Quest ship’s cabin in Connemara’s Letterfrack are among topics for this year’s Shackleton autumn school which takes place online on Saturday (Oct 31).

“Virtually Shackleton” is hosted online by the Shackleton Museum Athy, Co Kildare from 10.30 am on Saturday.

Conservation Letterfrack’s Sven Habbermann, who is working on the Quest cabin in which Shackleton spent his last hours, and Prof Aidan O’Sullivan of University College Dublin are among the first speakers.

Artist Pauline Garavan will speak about her art piece on the Endurance, and a guided tour of the Fram, the hip that was used in expeditions of the Arctic and Antarctic regions by the Norwegian explorers Fridtjof Nansen, will be given by Geir Kløver, director of the Fram museum in Oslo, Norway.

Dr Juliana Adelman will speak about the making of the successful Shackleton podcasts for the Athy museum, and Minister of State for Heritage Malcolm Noonan will participate in a discussion on Saturday afternoon on Ireland and the Antarctic Treaty with Bob Headland of Britain’s Scott Polar Research Institute.

A full programme is below, and registration for the free series of events is here

Virtually Shackleton agenda, October 31st 2020

  • 10:30 – 10:35 Opening of Virtually Shackleton 2020 from the Shackleton Museum, Athy, Co. Kildare, Ireland.
  • 10:35 – 11:20 “First appearances – the conservation of Ernest Shackleton’s Quest cabin”. Sven Habermann, Conservation Letterfrack.
  • 11:30 – 11:55 “Inuit, Irish and Norse: the earliest explorers of the North Atlantic”. Prof. Aidan O’Sullivan, University College Dublin.
  • 12:05 – 12:30 “Pauline Garavan speaks about her Endurance art piece”. Artist, Pauline Garavan.
  • 12:40 – 13:05 “Norwegian Wood – Guided tour of Fram followed by Q&A”. Geir Kløver, Director, The Fram Museum, Oslo, Norway.
  • Lunch: ICEBREAKER session will run during lunchtime streaming videos connected with the work of the Shackleton Autumn School.
  • 1) David Butler on illustrating the ‘James Caird’ voyage;
  • 2) South Georgia by kayak, 2019;
  • 14:00 – 14:25 “The Boss in Bronze: sculptor Mark Richards on his work and creating the Athy Shackleton statue”. Sculptor Mark Richards in conversation with Kildare County Council Arts Officer, Lucina Russell.
  • 14:35 – 15:05 “Trick or Treaty: Ireland and the Antarctic Treaty, a discussion”. Minister of State, Malcolm Noonan in conversation with Bob Headland, Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge, UK.
  • 15:15 – 15:45 “The use of ponies in Antarctica: Was it a silly idea?” A lecture by Antarctic historian Bob Burton.
  • 16:00 – 16:20 “Stream it like you mean it, the background to the making of the successful podcast ‘What would Shackleton do?’”. Interview with Dr Juliana Adelman, Dublin City University and John Carty (actor). (visit for podcast).
  • 16:30 – 16:55 “The Great Escape. Jim McAdam’s account of exiting the Falklands and southern Patagonia just as lockdown hit”. Dr Jim McAdam, Shackleton Museum, Athy, & Queens University, Belfast.
  • 17:05 – 17:25 “Falkland Islands calling - Presentation on Shackleton, the Falkland Islands and its museum connection with the Shackleton Museum”. Falklands Museum staff & Shackleton Museum.
  • 17:25 Close of Virtually Shackleton 2020.
  • 17:30 – 18:00 Zoom session continues in O’Briens.
  • 20:00 – 21:05 Shackleton’s Endurance: online streaming of the premiere performance from Carlow, Ireland, October 2014 (narration, music, visuals).
Published in News Update
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“For scientific discovery give me Scott; for speed and efficiency of travel give me Amundsen; but when disaster strikes and all hope is gone, get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton..”

The words of British geologist Raymond Priestley, who spent time in Antarctica with both Ernest Shackleton and Robert Falcon Scott, underpin a Co Kildare museum's bid to boost national morale during the pandemic, the Times Ireland reports.

“What would Shackleton do?” is the title of five podcasts which the museums’ voluntary board is releasing free to the public.

The short recordings draw on the Kildare-born adventurer’s key characteristics for successful exploration-optimism, patience, idealism and courage.

An extra one – “kindness”, as shown by health workers and other frontline staff – has been added by the museum podcast team, working with producer Dr Juliana Adelman, assistant professor of history at Dublin City University.

Optimism is the theme of the first podcast, introduced by the explorer’s cousin, Jonathan Shackleton. When the vessel Endurance hired for Shackleton’s Transantarctic expedition was finally crushed by pack ice in late 1915,” the Boss” painted a cheery vision.

“The ship and the stores are gone, so now we are going home,” the explorer told his crew after they had taken to the ice with food, drink, photographs and musical instruments retrieved from the ship.

Time and again, he reinforced this vision, Shackleton Museum director Kevin Kenny explains, and his optimism was perhaps best displayed by his decision to embark with five others on a seemingly desperate 800-mile sea journey to fetch help,

“Patience” – the theme of the second podcast – was the name Shackleton chose for the initial ice floe encampment, fellow museum director and historian Seamus Taaffe tells Prof Adelman.

The explorer had no patience when at home, as he could be impetuous and moody, and had a terrible business sense, with a tobacco company, gold mining in central Europe and an attempt to ferry troops to Russia among his failed ventures.

However, Shackleton was “quite a different man on the ice”, and in extreme circumstances, Taaffe says. His crew nicknamed him “cautious Jack”, and he was inspired by Rudyard Kipling’s poem, If, which he had hung in his ship’s cabin - and managed to take with him on his epic sea journey.

Read The Times report here As one of the museum's directors observes, pandemic restrictions have forced us all to live like trapped adventurers “on a metaphorical ice floe”.

The “What would Shackleton do?” podcast series is here 

Published in Historic Boats
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“We are celebrating here afloat on the Antarctic floe not knowing what way we will drift next or be frozen in for another winter... Breakfast a seal steak and cup of tea...dinner a pancake made of flour water fried in seal blubber... supper stewed seal and cocoa....”

The writer getting tired of a diet of seal was “186 miles from known land”, and stuck on a ship trapped in an ice floe in the Antarctic.

Now his recently discovered diary extract from over a century ago has been presented to the Co Kildare museum dedicated to the adventures of Sir Ernest Shackleton.

Shackleton museumThe diary extract has been presented to the Co Kildare museum

The mixture of diary and philosophical and scientific notes – the first of its kind to be unearthed in relation to Shackleton’s Imperial Transantarctic expedition 1914 -1917 – is believed to have been kept by Harry McNish, ship’s carpenter on the Endurance expedition.

The Endurance was focus of one of the most famous sea rescues of the early 20th century, when it became stuck in ice in January 1915 and was crushed that November during Shackleton’s attempt to sail south and cross Antarctica by land.

Kerryman Tom Crean and Corkman Tim McCarthy were part of the lifeboat crew who sailed some 800 nautical miles with Shackleton from Elephant island to south Georgia to get help for their stranded colleagues.

The diary surfaced at the BBC Antiques Roadshow, during a recording in Belfast in July 2018

The diary surfaced at the BBC Antiques Roadshow, during a recording in Belfast in July 2018.

Ms Nicki Jemphrey said it had been in her family’s possession for decades after it was given to her father over 40 years ago. She said she had “no idea who wrote it”.

The writer describes the ordeal of surviving on drifting ice and being forced to kill their dogs.

“Penguin came up rudder hole..Anxious for war news, ”the writer says at one point and muses on the outcome of the first world war.

“ Hope Russians will get Kaiser If Britain gets him they will set him up in a Palace at ratepayers expense", the writer says, giving latitude on each entry.

At one point, the writer records sledge races, and records how “all had hair shaved” and were photographed looking “like a fine lot of convicts”.

“Hope to get to civilisation one day,” he adds – and they all did.

Organisers of the annual autumn Shackleton school in Athy, Co Kildare, contacted Ms Jemphrey, and circulated copies of the diary for examination by three experts.

Philippa Wordie whose grandfather James Wordie was on Endurance and who collated the official accounts from diaries, Jonathan Shackleton, a descendant of the Irish-born explorer, and Bob Burton, formerly of the British Antarctic Survey, examined the document at their autumn school last month.

There is still a “bit of a mystery” about the entries, according to Kevin Kenny of the Shackleton autumn school, as Henry (or Harry) McNish wasn’t an officer and would not have been required to keep a log.

Handwriting also varies, with one entry referring to the importance of “increasing the supply of Irish honey, which is, by the way, superior to English honey...”

McNish was the oldest member of the expedition, and a socialist and United Free Church of Scotland member who hated bad language. He was known by his nickname, “Chippy”.

He fell out with Shackleton after a decision to have the ship’s cat, Mrs Chippy, put down along with the dog teams.

The diary has been given by Ms Jemphrey to the Shackleton Museum in the Athy Heritage Centre on long-term loan, and is now on display as the only account of its type.

Published in News Update
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The board of a famed Oslo Museum met for the first time outside Norway in Athy as part of this year's Ernest Shackleton Autumn School over the October Bank Holiday. Directors of The Fram Museum, which tells the story of polar exploration, attended the 18th annual School at the Athy Heritage Centre Museum.

The Autumn School, which was opened by the Norwegian Ambassador to Ireland, Her Excellency, Else Berit Eikeland, commemorates the achievements of Kilkea-born 20th century explorer Shackleton. Shackleton’s 1914-16 Endurance Expedition to the Antarctic is regarded as one of the epic stories of human survival.

The Ernest Shackleton Autumn School is a project of Athy Heritage Centre Museum, supported by Kildare Failte and Kildare County Council.

"We hope the experiences of the board of the famous Fram Museum will serve as a calling card for Kildare," said Aine Mangan, CEO, Kildare Failte.

"We are very conscious of the role that the memory and achievements of Ernest Shackleton can play in developing the visitor offering in Kildare."

"Also, our county offers wonderful opportunities for corporate gatherings such as these, and we hope that this event will further build on Kildare’s relationship with the Fram Museum."

"We are grateful that the Board of the Fram Museum travelled to spend time commemorating Shackleton and exploring and enjoying a wealth of Kildare experiences."

Locally, the Council is supporting redevelopment plans for a new Shackleton Polar theme museum in the former Town Hall building in Athy’s historic Emily Square.


2830— Seamus Taaffe (standing on the left) of the Board of Directors, Athy Heritage Centre, with the Board of Directors group from the Fram Museum (Oslo) who held their Annual Board Meeting in Athy.

Published in Historic Boats
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Hello and welcome aboard your maritime programme Seascapes, this week we bring you highlights from the unveiling of a fine sculture by Mark Richards in Athy, Co Kildare on the centenary to the day of the rescue of the Endurance crew from Elephant Island and the unveiling of a sculpture by Mark Richards of Sir Ernest Shackleton beside the Athy Heritage Centre in his home place complete with an Honour Guard from the Irish Naval Service, we’ll be talking to Kevin Kenny of Athy Heritage Centre ; Commander Cormac Rynne of the Irish Naval Service; Arts Officer Lucina Russell and Jack L who performed “The Wearin’ of the Green” and we also met up with Jonathan Shackleton ...... also this week Dr Gordon Dalton of MAREI on the Maribe project and the outcome of a recent conference held in Cork....first this week here on Seascapes to our Galway Studios where we can hear from Features Editor Gery Flynn of Inshore Ireland Magazine on what’s in the latest edition ...

Features Editor of Inshore Ireland magazine – Gery Flynn here on Seascapes to Athy in Co Kildare where coincide with the very day a hundred years ago on the 30th of August that epic rescue of The crew of The Endurance from Elephant Island was marked by a sculpture by Mark Richards being unveiled by the Mayor of Kildare , Cllr Ivan Keatley and Alexandra Shackleton with an honour guard drawn from the Irish Naval Service in attendance ....

Also present for the ceremony was local musician Jack L who spoke briefly to Seascapes before he performed this song...

Jack Lukeman performing The Wearin’ of the Green” next we spoke to Jonathan Shackleton ...

Also in attendance was Commander Cormac Rynne of the Irish Naval Service.....

From Commander Cormac RYNNE to Kildare Arts Officer , Lucina RUSSELL..
The Athy Heritage Centre is in the heart of the town and is hosting an exhibition “ By Endurance We Conquer “running until February of next year....

Lets have a final word from Kevin Kenny of Athy Heritage Centre....
MARIBE is Marine Investment for the Blue Economy , Dr Gordon Dalton who is based at MaREI ERI, at University College Cork is Maribe Project Coordinator , we last talked to him earlier this year

Dr Gordon Dalton of MAREI /ERI – Maribe Project Coordinator

We wish swimmers the “Swim Sisters” team of Lynsey Dunne -Connacht, Mary Bolger-Hinds- Leinster, Claudine Hughes -Ulster and Maighread McMahon from Munster , they will attempt to become the first four provinces, all-female team to swim the length of the largest freshwater lake in these islands , Lough Neagh – a distance of approximately 30.5km.

The “Swim Sisters “ are four experienced open water swimmers and members of the Irish Long Distance Swimming Association. And it was through their love of open water swimming that the team the " Swim Sisters " came together. Two of them , Lynsey & Maighread are veterans of two successful English Channel relay swims.You can read more about their swim on the Seascapes webpage....

That’s it for this week on your maritime programme, on the sound desk this week Niall O Sullivan , next week here on Seascapes we bring you the story of the Aud and Sir Roger Casement and highlights from the commemoration held on Banna Strand earlier this year at Easter .....Grainne McPolin was there for Seascapes when she spoke with with H.E. President Michael D Higgins we hear from local historian Pat Lawlor about Sir Roger Casement the humanitarian, explorer and seafarer and descendants of Captain Monteith and Sir Roger Casement ; until next Friday night, tight lines and fair sailing.”

A popular wedding venue a Wedding Fair is being held in The National Maritime Museum of Ireland, Haigh Terrace, Dun Laoghaire on Sunday 18th September open from 12 noon....

Ireland’s National Maritime Museum is housed in Dun Laoghaire’s 180-year-old Mariners Church, directly opposite the new DLR Lexicon library and easily accessible by DART suburban train and several bus services. The museum’s greatest artefact is probably the building itself as it is one of a few custom built places of worship for seafarers remaining intact in the world to-day.

Experienced guides will bring you on a voyage of discovery enthralling you with stories of discovery, heroism, war and disasters at sea. You will learn about maritime history, exploration, navigation, radio, deep-sea cable technology, nature, wildlife and view art inspired by the sea.

See the 10-tonne revolving Baily Optic, try the electrified steam engine and pause to reflect at the Titanic exhibit, the re-created radio room, the Royal Navy prisoners docks and the war memorial. Try sailor’s knots, learn how they lift heavy weights, be photographed with the pirate, research in the library, visit the shop and café and much more.

Published in Seascapes

#Shackleton - As Shackleton's cabin arrives in Connemara for restoration, an intrepid young Irish woman is setting out to retrace the pioneering explorer's Antarctic footsteps.

According to The Irish Times, the 'sea bedroom' where Ernest Shackleton died of a heart attack in 1922 has been relocated to Conservation Letterfrack by its Norwegian owner for an array of restoration works before its transfer to the Athy Heritage-Centre Museum, in the explorer's county of birth, in the new year.

Originally part of the Norwegian steamship Quest, purchased by Shackleton for his final Antarctic voyage, the cabin was removed from the vessel at some point before the ship sank during a seal hunt in 1962, and wound up at a farm in Norway’s Nordland region, where present owner Ulfe Bakke played in it in his childhood.

Bakke has now donated the cabin to join a permanent exhibition in tribute to Shackleton's endeavours, including an original ice sledge and writings from his missions.

As previously reported on, Shackleton's final resting place on South Georgia Island can be visited virtually via Google Street View.

Meanwhile, Irish Army Lieutenant Sinéad Hunt is entering her last fortnight of training before she embarks on a two-week trek across the Antarctic to mark the centenary of Shackleton's 1915 expedition, as reports

The Dubliner will join New Zealand adventurers Tom McTavish and James Blake on the trip that will take them from the Falklands to South Georgia, following the arduous journey made by Shackleton, Tom Crean and four others after they abandoned the Endurance in pack ice.

To prepare for the challenge, the experienced climber and Alpine skier has been training in the Wicklow Mountains – but the severe storms and blizzards at the end of the world might prove a different prospect.

Published in News Update

#Shackleton - When famed Irish explorers Ernest Shackleton and Tom Crean set foot on the island of South Georgia in 1916, it was as remote as one could get in the world at that time.

Fast forward to 2014 and the vistas of that Southern Ocean outcrop are available to all, thanks to an intrepid hiker equipped with Google's Trekker backpack camera.

As reports, Linbald Expeditions and National Geographic sent one of their videographers with the special 360-degree camera unit to capture images for the Google Street View virtual mapping service.

And the fruits of that adventure are some 10,000 shots taken across nine locations, roughly plotting the path that Shackleton and his crew took on their pioneering Endurance voyage - and their epic journey to seek rescue when the ship was trapped in ice.

Crean and four others joined Shackleton to set out across 1,300km of open ocean from Elephant Island on the edge of the Antarctic to South Georgia, where they were the first known to traverse its hostile landscape to reach the help they needed.

Even today that land is rarely visited, with a population of just 30 or so - mostly scientists and staff of the British Antarctic Survey.

But now anyone in the world can have a glimpse of its rugged natural beauty, from the penguins of Right Whale Bay to Shackleton's final resting place. has much more on the story HERE.

Published in News Update
19th February 2011

Shackleton: A Century Apart

As the exhibition Endurance: Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure! starts to wind-down at Liverpool's Merseyside Maritime Museum (for details click here) another event celebrating the intrepid Irish-born polar explorer is to be held on the opposite side of the Irish Sea, writes Jehan Ashmore.
In 1911, Ernest Shackleton presented a lecture on his South Pole expedition in Dublin. The lecture will be commemorated exactly a century later with next Monday's multi-media event titled 'Nearest the Pole'. The event will be held in the original venue of the lecture in the Rotunda Pillar Room in the grounds of the Rotunda Hospital, in Parnell Square.

Writers, musicians and actors will be joined by relatives of Shackleton for an evening of theatre, illustrated talks, newspaper readings, poetry and song in the splendid interior surroundings of the city-centre venue (click here).

Tickets for the evening event on Monday 21 February, starting at 6.30pm, cost €10 at the door or can be purchased in advance by contacting (01) 872 2377. The event will be repeated in the Droichead Arts Centre, Drogheda on Monday 28 February, at 8pm. For further details Tel: (041) 983 3946

Published in Boating Fixtures
Liverpool's Merseyside Maritime Museum (MMM) is holding the exhibition: 'Endurance: Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure' which tells the epic story of the Irish born Sir Ernest Shackleton's 1914 polar expedition.
The exhibition also pays homage to photographer Frank Hurley who dove into icy waters to retrieve his glass plate negatives from the sinking Endurance. The photographs, printed from the original negatives and Hurley's album of prints, are accompanied by gripping memoirs from the voyage.

To celebrate the achievements of Shackleton and Hurley's stunning photographic collection, the (MMM) want you to share your photos of spectacular scenery, unusual locations and far-flung destinations. Just add them to the Flickr group to be in a chance of a family concert ticket for the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic's unique combined film and music experience 'Polar'.

The cinematic portrait of the Arctic and Antarctic explores the homeland of the polar bears and humpback whales. The moving imagery will be accompanied by a live orchestral soundtrack performed by the world-renowned orchestra.

For further detailed information about the competition and entry rules logon HERE.

The Endurance: Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure at the Merseyside Maritime Museum is open to the public free of charge until the 27 February 2011. For more info logon HERE

Published in Coastal Notes
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