A century after Robert Falcon Scott’s tragic Antarctic expedition, Courtmacsherry in Co Cork honored the man of their own who supported Scott on the epic trek. Dr Clare O’Leary, the first Irish woman to reach the South Pole, unveiled a statue of Patrick Keohane, the Courtmacsherry member of Scott’s expedition, the West Cork Times reported Monday.
The sculpture of Keohane will stand on the Seven Heads Walk between Broadstrand and Blind Strand, near where Keohane was born in 1879, according to the West Cork Times.
The celebration of the “forgotten hero” also featured a song specially composed for the occasion. Keohane’s descendants and Michael Smith, author of ‘Great Endeavour,’ a book about Irish Antarctic explorers, attended.
Keohane was part of the first support group in the push to the pole. According to ‘The Worst Journey in the World,’ by his fellow expedition member Apsley Cherry-Garrard, Keohane fell into eight cravasses in only twenty five minutes on the support group’s planned retreat to Cape Evans. He “looked a bit dazed” after the crevasse debacle, Cherry-Garrard wrote.
Keohane was also among the search party that ventured back to find Scott’s group, which had disappeared. Keohane and his group found the frozen bodies of Scott and two others on November 12, 1912.