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Through Snow and Ice…. An Post Stamps celebrate Irish Antarctic Explorers

15 April 2021

An Post has issued four stamps celebrating eight Irish men who played a significant role in the epic Antarctic expeditions of the 1800s and early 1900s. 

Irish men were at the heart of the pioneering expeditions to Antarctica. County Kildare-born Ernest Shackleton and Tom Crean, from Annascaul, Co Kerry, are two of the better known explorers, and have achieved worldwide recognition for their bravery and perseverance.
The other six men featured on the stamps, five from Cork, are perhaps less well known but no less important in the contributions they made to Antarctic exploration.   They include Edward Bransfield (from Ballincurra, Co Cork); Patrick Keohane (Courtmacsherry, Co Cork; Robert Forde (Bandon, Co Cork), brothers Mortimer and Tim McCarthy (Kinsale, Co Cork) and Francis Crozier (Banbridge, Co Down).   

The four stamps, two for national postage and two for international, and a First Day Cover envelope are available at selected post offices and

Leading Irish Illustrator David Rooney explained how he wanted the stamps to shine a light on the impact Irish men had on Antarctic exploration: 

“Like most people I was aware of the Shackleton and Crean expeditions, it was fascinating to delve into the adventures of a figure like Francis Crozier, who set out in 1839 as commander of HMS Terror on the Ross expedition. Crozier, his ship and all of his crew were subsequently lost, along with Sir John Franklin, on their ill-fated search for the North West Passage in the Arctic just a few years later.”

An Post expects strong interest in the stamps at home and abroad from collectors and those with an interest in Explorers and Antarctic expeditions.