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Antarctic ship with Crean connection found 107 years after it sank

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The ship central to Tom Crean’s story of bravery and resilience has been located in the Antarctic 107 years after it sank - hailing the find as a milestone in polar history.

SEARCHING: The Agulhas II docked in the sea ice of Weddell Sea searching for Sir Ernest Shackleton's ship The Endurance and scientific research on the sea ice. Photo: Esther Horvath Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust/National Geographic

TEAM: John Shears Expedition Leader Mensun Bound Director of Exploration Nico Vincent Expedition Sub-Sea Manager J.C. Caillens Off-Shore Manager with the first scan of the wreck and photos from Frank Hurley's 1915 collection. Photo: Esther Horvath Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust/National Geographic

The Endurance sank in 1915 while explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton and his crew were attempting to make the first land crossing of the Antarctic.

The Endurance become stuck in ice as the 28-man crew made their way towards Vahsel Bay – the starting point of their land expedition. It sank in October 1915 forcing Shackleton and his six-man crew, which included Annascaul’s Tom Crean on to lifeboats. They ended up on uninhabited Elephant Island where after months of living in makeshift camps Shackleton decided to steer one of the lifeboats towards the whaling station at South Georgia 1,300km away.

Crean was included in the lifeboat crew that made the journey – one that is listed amongst the greatest feats of human endurance ever.

On arrival at the northern coast of South Georgia three of the crew, including Crean and Shackleton faced a 46km hike over uncharted territory to the whaling station at Stromness where the crew were able to organise a rescue party for the remaining men stranded on Elephant Island.

Some eight weeks after the lifeboat left Elephant Island the crew returned and rescued everyone without the loss of life.

The ship had not been seen since it went down in the Weddell Sea in 1915, and in February the Endurance22 Expedition left Cape Town, South Africa, on a mission to find it.

"The wreck is coherent, in an astonishing state of preservation. The Antarctic seabed does not have any wood eating micro-organisms, the water has the clarity of distilled water. We were able to film the wreck in super high definition. The results are magical,” Historian and broadcaster, Dan Snow, tweeted.

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Volunteers wanted for street collection

By Michelle Crean October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and local volunteers are keen to not only raise awareness but also funds. Kathrina Breen, Eleanor O’Doherty and Kathleen O’Shea who […]

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By Michelle Crean

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and local volunteers are keen to not only raise awareness but also funds.

Kathrina Breen, Eleanor O’Doherty and Kathleen O’Shea who have been supporting the Irish Cancer Society for many years are delighted to be able to get back to their Pink Ribbon street collection in Killarney town next Friday (October 7).

They are the only group in the country doing the collection as many fundraisers have moved online since the pandemic struck.

“We’re the only town in Ireland doing it this year,” Kathrina, who feels it’s important to keep a street collection going, told the Killarney Advertiser.

“We haven’t done it in two years since before COVID. I pushed to do it as it raises a lot of money. People have been supporting this for years, this money goes towards breast detection equipment, information leaflets in doctors surgeries and towards cancer grants.”

In 2021, donations helped 254 breast cancer patients with free transport to and from 2,380 chemotherapy appointments by volunteer drivers, 154 patients received 514 nights of end-of-life care from Night Nurses and 3,430 enquiries were made about breast cancer through the Freephone Support Line 1800 200 700 and at 13 Daffodil Centres across the country.

And she added that they’re looking for a few volunteers to help out on the day.

“If anyone would like to help they can contact me on 087 2612992.”

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Calls for Council to acquire vacant Rock Road properties

By Sean Moriarty There are calls to make two vacant properties on Rock Road available to Kerry County Council’s housing inventory. The two cottages, one either side of the entrance […]

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By Sean Moriarty

There are calls to make two vacant properties on Rock Road available to Kerry County Council’s housing inventory.

The two cottages, one either side of the entrance to St Finan’s Hospital, are vacant for some time.
Cllr Maura Healy-Rae raised the issue at a recent Killarney Municipal District meeting.

“Regarding two vacant houses at the entrance to St Finan’s on Rock Road which appear to be vacant for a significant period of time. One of the properties is in the ownership of the HSE. I requested that Kerry County Council would liaise with the HSE with a view to potentially acquiring this house,” she told the Killarney Advertiser after the meeting.

“I stressed that it is important that the local authority exhaust all possibilities when it comes to providing more houses, particularly properties located within the town of Killarney where the need and demand for housing is critical.”

Kerry County Council said it would get the Vacant Homes Officer to contact the owner of the privately owned bungalow.

“They will inform the property owner that there is funding available under various schemes and grants to aid the return of this property to habitable use. Such schemes include the Repair and Lease Scheme and the recently launched Croí Cónaithe vacant property grant,” said a Council official.

Cllr Healy-Rae added: “I requested that KCC would liaise with the HSE with a view to potentially acquiring this house.”

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