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photo of front of kanes pub bed and breakfast, leinster street, athy, county kildare, ireland
Shackleton Autumn School
 

photo of  kanes formerly the railway hotel, leinster street, athy, county kildare, ireland

 

Sir Ernest Shackleton, the great polar explorer, was born at Kilkea House, near Athy, County Kildare in 1874. Coming from an Anglo-Irish background with a strong Quaker heritage he is renowned for his courage, extraordinary leadership skills and his contribution to geographical discovery during the era of Antarctic exploration in the early years of the 20th Century.

Ernest Shackleton joined Captain Scott's Discovery expedition 1901 - 1904 and went on to lead three of his own expeditions to the Antarctic. The Endurance 1914 - 1916 expedition has become one of the greatest epics of human survival. While Shackleton did not achieve his ambition to cross the Antarctic he has become famous for his triumphs of honesty and humanitarianism. He died in 1922 in South Georgia, on his fourth expedition to the Antarctic in the ship named Quest.

Athy Heritage Centre-Museum has the only permanent exhibition anywhere devoted to Shackleton. Highlights include an original sledge and harness from his Antarctic expeditions, a 15-foot model of Shackleton’s ship Endurance, an exhibition of unique Shackleton family photographs and an audio visual display featuring Frank Hurley’s original film footage of the Endurance expedition.

The Shackleton Autumn School was established to commemorate the explorer in the county of his birth. It provides a forum for the discussion of polar exploration and the presentation of artistic work relevant to Shackleton and polar exploration.

Sir Ernest Shackleton

Born close to the village of Kilkea, between Castledermot and Athy, in the south of County Kildare in 1874, Ernest Shackleton is renowned for his courage, his commitment to the welfare of his comrades and his immense contribution to exploration and geographical discovery. The Shackleton family first came to south Kildare in the early years of the eighteenth century. Ernest’s Quaker forefather, Abraham Shackleton, established a multi-denominational school in the village of Ballitore. This school was to educate such notable figures as Napper Tandy, Edmund Burke, Cardinal Paul Cullen and Shackleton’s great aunt, the Quaker writer, Mary Leadbeater. Apart from their involvement in education, the extended family was also deeply involved in the business and farming life of south Kildare.

Having gone to sea as a teenager, Shackleton joined Captain Scott’s Discovery expedition (1901 – 1904) and, in time, was to lead three of his own expeditions to the Antarctic. His Endurance expedition (1914 – 1916) has become known as one of the great epics of human survival. He died in 1922, at South Georgia, on his fourth expedition to the Antarctic, and – on his wife’s instructions – was buried there.

Athy Heritage Centre-Museum

Athy Heritage Centre was established to celebrate the vibrant socio-historic legacy of the area. It houses material and audio-visual programmes that chronicle the ancient, medieval and post 16th century lives and achievements of the people of the town and its hinterland.

Athy Heritage Centre is home to the only permanent exhibition anywhere devoted to Ernest Shackleton. Highlights include an original sledge and harness from his Antarctic expeditions, a 15-foot model of Shackleton’s ship Endurance, an exhibition of unique Shackleton family photographs and an audio-visual display featuring Frank Hurley’s fi lm footage of the Endurance expedition.

The Centre also houses material on the Great War and its effects on Athy; the industrial and social effects of the canal in Athy life; information on the Gordon-Bennett race, which is celebrated annually in the town, and a wide range of seasonal exhibitions which reflect life past and present in this vibrant community.

Highlight of the year, at the Centre, is the Shackleton Autumn School, which was established to commemorate the explorer in the county of his birth. It provides a forum for discussion and debate on polar exploration and the presentation of artistic works relevant to Shackleton and his time equipment from the museum of the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge. 

Ernest Shackleton Exhibition – includes a scale model of the Endurance, artifacts relating to Shackleton’s expeditions and his Quaker ancestry and an audio-visual display Antarctic Adventurers – the Antarctic adventures will recreate a sledging party from the early years of Antarctic exploration.

 
 
Gordon Bennett 1903 Winnder
 
Local INFORMATION
 
Tourist Information Office

The Tourist Information Office in Athy is located in the Heritage Centre and Museum located a few minutes stroll from Kane's Pub Bed and Breakfast in Emily Square in the heart of this Heritage Town.

 
Accommodation

Overnight accommodation during the Shackleton Autumn School is available with rooms to let at Kane's Bed and Breakfast located a short distance from Emily Square where the only permanent Shackleton Exhibition and festival events take place.

Kane's B&B is located within walking distance of Athy Railway Station and Bus Eireann and JJ Kavanagh bus stops offering regular coach services fron Dublin Airport, Dublin, Waterford, Cork, Clonmel and many other cities and towns in Ireland.

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Tourist Attractions

Stay a little longer in the Athy area and explore what the region has to offer.

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Athy Events Calendar
 
 

SCHEDULE FOR AUTUMN SCHOOL 2010

 

Friday 22nd October 2010

7.15pm Opening of Shackleton School and the exhibition 'Last Days of the Arctic'

7.45pm The launch of Chet Ross's book ‘Lieutenant Nobu Shirase and the Japanese Antarctic Expedition of 1910-1912' - A Bibliography'.

The book will be launched by his Excellency Toshinao Urabe,  Japanese Ambassador to Ireland.

8.30pm  Shackleton Memorial Lecture  by Fintan O'Toole

 

Saturday 23rd October

10.30am " Last Days of the Arctic" by Ragnar Axelsson

12 noon "The SS Terra Nova (1884-1943) and other Polar Exploration Ships of         the Heroic Age" by Mike Tarver

At 1pm the Hon Alexandra Shackleton will unveil a plaque at Athy Town Hall dedicated to her grandfather Sir Ernest Shackleton.

2.30pm "The Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition" by Dr T.H. Baughman

4.00pm "Lieutenant Nobu Shirase and the Japanese Antarctic Expedition, 1910-1912" by Chet Ross

8pm  Autumn School Dinner at the Carlton Abbey Hotel

Sunday 24th October 2010

10.30am 'Uncovering the story of Scott's Other Expedition' by Meredith Hooper

12 noon " Life inside drifting Antarctic pack ice" by Professor David Thomas

2.30pm Afternoon Film - Details to be confirmed

4.30pm Open forum chaired by Bob Headland

9 pm Drama/Music 'Where a Single Footprint Lasts a Thousand Years'

This October the school will premiere, in Shackleton country, a performance of music, theatre, poetry and readings relating to Ernest Shackleton and exploration. In association with the Shackleton School, Michael Holohan has devised a unique event, featuring his own signature composition of music-theatre, complemented by poetry and readings. This is a premiere performance in Ireland’s Shackleton country.

Mon 25th October

10.00am Excursion/Field Trip Bus tour through Shackleton country. A visit to Ballitore and the home of Mary Leadbeater, writer and ancestor of Ernest Shackleton, the Quaker Meeting House and the Shaker Store.

 
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