25 Sept 2022

Kildare's All Time Greats: #5 Ernest Shackleton

Antarctic explorer

Kildare's All Time Greats: #5 Ernest Shackleton

Vote Ernest Shackleton as Kildare's All Time Great

Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton was born in Kilkea, near Athy, in 1874, although his family moved to London when he was a young child.

Shackleton was one of the heroes of the age of Antarctic exploration in the first decades of the 20th century, and made several journeys to the ice-bound continent. His most famous exploit sprung from disaster. When his ship Endurance was crushed by ice while trying to cross Antarctica from sea to sea in 1915, Shackleton led a rescue mission to get help for his stranded crew.

He died of a heart attack while on an expedition in 1922 and is buried in South Georgia. He was recently named the BBC’s Explorer Icon of the 20th Century.

There is a permanent exhibition in his honour at the Athy Heritage Centre-Museum, and a statue of him in the town.

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