To mark the 80th anniversary of the passing of the great Kerry Antarctic explorer Tom Crean, Kerry Writers’ Museum, Listowel are delighted to welcome back Michael Smith for a special lecture on Tuesday October 16th at 7.30pm.

Michael is an authority on Polar exploration having published nine books on the subject. His best-selling biography of Tom Crean – An Unsung Hero, has sold well over 100,000 copies worldwide and cast new light on Ireland’s significant role in early Polar exploration. He has appeared in TV and radio documentaries and lectured at many literary festivals and in prestigious venues both in Ireland and worldwide. Michael is a former award-winning journalist with The Guardian and The Observer.

In his lecture Michael will recall the epic life of the farmer’s son from Annascaul. Crean served on three major expeditions of discovery to the Antarctic a century ago, spent longer in the ice than either Captain Scott or Ernest Shackleton and outlived them both.

Michael will be joined on the night by Crean’s granddaughter Aileen Crean O’Brien and partner Bill Sheppard who will recount the expedition they undertook on the centenary of the Kerry man’s historic traverse of South Georgia with Frank Worsley and captain of the Endurance, Ernest Shackleton. Wishing to honour their renowned grandfather and great-grandfather, the Crean O’Brien family decided to retrace his footsteps on the thirty-six hour traverse that finally brought the men to Stomness whaling station and salvation after months of being stranded in frozen ice. A century on, Tom Crean’s character lives on, not just in his descendants but also in a very real way in the place where he made Polar history.

Artefacts from Tom Crean will be on display which are being kindly loaned to the Museum from the Crean collection at Kerry County Museum, Tralee. Kerry Writers’ Museum is also organising special sessions with Michael Smith for local primary schools on October 16th starting at 10am. Michael’s book on Tom Crean is included on the primary school curriculum for 5th and 6th class pupils. Schools who wish to attend the sessions should contact the Museum as soon as possible.

Bookings for both can be made by contacting the Kerry Writers’ Museum at 068 22212 or by emailing: