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Polar Exhibition in County Museum, Dundalk

Canada's Ambassador to Ireland, Mr. Patrick Binns, opened the exhibition On the Trail of the Arctic Fox at the County Museum, Dundalk on Saturday November 17th at 7.30. The exhibition celebrated one of Ireland’s greatest Arctic explorers, Sir Francis Leopold McClintock and is best remembered for discovering the fate of John Franklin whose expedition went missing whilst trying to locate the Northwest Passage.

Born in Dundalk in 1819, McClintock joined the Navy at the age of 11, and spent all of his adult life there. Having served in a diversity of stations including Brazil and the Isle of Man, McClintock developed a range of skills and expertise which would prove to be of great benefit when exploring areas of the Canadian Arctic. Over the course of four expeditions, McClintock mapped over 7,000 miles of the Canadian coastline. He returned with a variety of artefacts which may now be seen in the Natural History Museum in Dublin. He also lectured to audiences in the Royal Dublin Society on the Arctic region. It was however, through his many innovations in the area of sledging (including the development of supply depots, the use of kites and sails as well as the incorporation of names, flags and mottoes assigned to each sledge party) that he made his greatest contribution to polar exploration. Indeed such was his expertise that he was approached by Shackleton and Amundsen in the preparation of their own expeditions to the Antarctic.

On the centenary of his death the County Museum, Dundalk, organised a three month exhibition seeking to celebrate one of its greatest sons. Featuring an array of items from the National Museum of Ireland, the Natural History Museum of Ireland, the Scott Polar Research Institute (Cambridge) as well as items previously held in private ownership the exhibition provided a fascinating insight into one of the 19th Century's leading explorers.

RTE radio and television Coverage

The exhibition On the Trail of the Arctic Fox has earned a great deal of national coverage recently featuring on both RTE radio and television. To see/hear the features click on:

http://www.rte.ie/news/2008/0115/morningireland.html

http://www.rte.ie/news/nationwide

View the new LAMN exhibition celebrating 100 years of Childhood: 'Seen But Not Heard' at http://www.rte.ie/news/2008/0910/nationwide_av.html?2420747,null,228

To read more on this article visit 'On the Trail of the Arctic Fox Exhibition'

Lecture Videos

Formal Opening Shane McCorristine
Dr. Hew Lewis Jones Dr. Kevin McKenna
Jarlath Cunnane Joe O'Farrell
Kari Herbert Conneed Healey
Andrew Moore Nigel Monaghan
Jim McAdam John McClintock
Brian Walsh