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Press Release - Sir Ernest Shackleton's Cabin

Kildare County Council, Welcomes the Explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton's Cabin to his birthplace of County Kildare

The cabin in which Irish adventurer Sir Ernest Shackleton died of a heart attack in the Antarctic Ocean in 1922 has been shipped to Ireland from Norway. The cabin will continue on its journey for restoration by Conservation Letterfrack in Connemara. It will then continue on its journey to County Kildare where it will form a permanent exhibition at the Athy Heritage Centre museum in 2016.

The cabin was part of the Norwegian schooner-rigged steamship, 'Quest', which Sir Ernest Shackleton had used for his final voyage. The 'Quest' was later purchased by Mr John Drage and, in recent years, the cabin has been in the care of his great, grandson Mr Ulfe Bakke.

The Mayor of Kildare, Councillor Brendan Weld, said 'this is an important chapter in the story of Sir Ernest Shackleton. Born in South Kildare, he fully deserves to be honoured in his birthplace for his exploits in Antarctica and in particular for his remarkable leadership to save his crew of 27'.

Kildare County Council's Chief Executive, Peter Carey, said 'we are extremely grateful to Mr Ulfe Bakke, that he considered County Kildare as the final destination for this unique historical artefact'.

Athy Municipal District, Cathaoirleach, Councillor Mark Wall said, 'Shackleton is renowned for his courage, extraordinary leadership skills and his contribution to geographical discovery, this is an exciting and welcome development for the citizens of Athy, the County of Kildare, national and international visitors',

Kildare County Council supports Athy Heritage Centre, which has the only permanent exhibition devoted to Shackleton, which includes a model of his ship, 'Endurance'. Other Council initiatives to highlight the Shackleton Story include:
• A CD entitled 'Shackleton's Endurance' commissioned by Athy Heritage Centre with original music by Brian Hughes and text by John MacKenna, was released in 2014.
• A permanent sculpture of the explorer is currently being commissioned by Kildare County Council.
• To engage the imagination of younger people a graphic novel, by Gavin Comiskey and David Butler, tracing the voyage of the 'James Caird' (which was part of the Endurance expedition) is underway.
• Support for the Annual Shackleton Autumn School in Athy.
• The 'Shackleton Challenge' transition year programme which engages students with Shackleton's leadership as a role model for teamwork and project management.

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