Online campaign to rename Kerry airport after local hero

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Almost 5,000 people have joined a Facebook group to call for Kerry’s Farranfore Airport to be renamed after a local unsung hero.

Tom Crean, from Annascaul on the Dingle Peninsula, was a member of three major expeditions to Antarctica in the early 20th century, from which he received an Albert Medal for Lifesaving.

The group says: “Almost 100 years since he returned from his expeditions after saving the lives of so many of his colleagues, he’s commemorated only in his home town of Annascaul.

“His epic story was kept in the shadows until the year 2000 with the release of the book ‘An Unsung Hero.”

The seaman’s contributions to his expeditions sealed his reputation as a remarkable polar explorer, and earned him a total of three Polar medals.

He was also a member of Captain Scott’s 1911–13 Terra Nova Expedition, which saw the race to reach the South Pole lost to Roald Amundsen and ended in the deaths of Scott and his polar party.

It was during this expedition that Crean embarked on a 35 statute miles (56 km) solo walk to save Edward Evans.

After the Endurance expedition, he returned to the Navy, and he returned to Kerry in 1920 when his naval career ended.

He and his wife Ellen opened a pub in his hometown called the “South Pole Inn where he lived quietly until his death in 1938.

In September, local paper the Kerryman celebrated its 110th birthday and marked the occassion with a reader’s poll who voted Crean the greatest Kerry person of those 110 years.

The Facebook page is updated with relevant, interesting copy regularly and their posts often go viral on a worldwide scale. Join here to add your name to the list of those that would like to see Tom Crean honoured.

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