Born in Gortacurraun, outside Annascaul Tom Crean attended Brackloon National School before enlisting in the British Royal Navy in 1893. A member of Scott's 1911–13 Terra Nova Expedition and the Endurance under Ernest Shackleton, Crean made a heroic open boat journey of 800 nautical miles from Elephant Island to South Georgia to get help after the Endurance sank in pack ice. After his Antartic adventures Crean retired from the navy in 1920. He and his wife Ellen Herlihy opened a pub, The South Pole Inn in Annascaul village where they settled and raised a family. He died from a burst appendix in July 1938 and is buried in Ballinacourty graveyard. In July 2003 a statue of Tom Crean sculpted by Eamon O’Doherty was unveiled in a small memorial garden across the road from the South Pole Inn.
This scenic and atmospheric lake lies north of the village of Annascaul in a wild boulder strewn gorge. Legend tells of Cúchulainn battling another giant here by throwing great boulders at each other for over a week. Cúchalainn had come to the aid of a woman ‘Scál ní Mhurnáin’ who lived by the lake. Cairns on nearby Dromavally peaks are known as the bed, house and grave of Cúchulainn. There is a lovely walk along the lake. From the lake a steep track leads to the valley of Maghanaboe on the North side of the peninsula.
Tips: You can drive into a small car park at the lakeside - please close the gate. The steep walk to the valley of Maghanaboe is a great walk but hazardous in places so please seek local advice.The lake is not suitable for bathing.
Born in Coumduff, Annascaul, Jerome Connor emigrated with his family in the late 19th century to Massachusetts and later gained international fame for his work as a sculptor. Highly regarded in the United States, his public works can still be seen in Washington DC, New York City and Georgetown University. Major works in Ireland are Robert Emmet, St. Stephen’s Green Dublin, Éire monument, Merrion Square Dublin and the Lusitania Monument, Cobh Co. Cork. The Jerome Connor Trust opened an exhibition of his work at the South Pole Inn Annascaul in April 2014.Two monuments have been erected to Jerome Connor in the Annascaul area, one in a garden site in the village across the river from the South Pole Inn and one in Coumduff.
Directions: Annascaul village is located in the centre of the Dingle Peninsula, Co Kerry. From Tralee take the N86 to Dingle making sure to take a left turn at Camp Junction. Bus Eireann has a service route 275 from Tralee to Dingle which stops at Annascaul.