Ireland’s Antarctic Explorer Tom Crean – South of the Border Composer Jimmy Kennedy – Hyde Park Bombing

July 20: TODAY in Irish History:

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Tom Crean Explorer

Kerry born Antarctic explorer Tom Crean

Snippets of Irish History by Conor Cunneen IrishmanSpeaks 

Conor is a Chicago based Motivational Humorous Business Speaker, Author and History buff.



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1877: Tom Crean is born in Co. Kerry

Birth of Antarctic explorer Tom Crean in Gortacurraun, Annascaul Co. Kerry. Crean joined the Royal Navy at a young age. He was one of the crew selected by Captain Robert Scott for his ill-fated expedition to the South Pole. Crean and two others were ordered by Scott to return to base camp within 150 miles of their goal.  Though devastated at the time, the decision obviously saved his life.

Tom Crean Explorer
Tom Crean Antartic 1911

Crean’s expertise and toughness was then recognized by Ernest Shackleton in his valiant efforts to sled across the Antarctic in 1915-16.

Tom Crean Explorer
Tom Crean with sleigh puppies during Shackleton expedition

Crean retired in 1920 and returned to Co. Kerry where he lived in relative anonymity despite (or maybe because of) being a recipient of the Albert Medal and three Polar Medals, In the madness that often permeates Irish history, Crean’s brother Cornelius Crean, a sergeant in the Royal Irish Constabulary, was shot dead by the IRA in County Cork on 25 April, 1920. writes “Sergeant Cornelius Crean who was struck by four bullets, a married man his wife ran a small hotel on King’s Street Cork. He was a native of Annascaul County Kerry and had served with the RIC for twenty eight years, He was a well known sportsman and had played in the Munster Rugby Cup matches with the Cork Constitution Team.”


Cornelius Crean RIC
RIC Sergeant Cornelius Crean killed by IRA

READ: Detailed Bio of Tom Crean


SEE:  Tom Crean – Unsung Hero




1902: Composer Jimmy Kennedy

Jimmy Kennedy

Jimmy Kennedy is born in Omagh Co. Tyrone. His magnificent body of work includes writing the lyrics for such hits as:

  • “Red Sails in the Sunset”
  • “South of the Border”
  • “We’re Going to Hang out the Washing on the Siegfried Line”
  • “The Isle of Capri”
  • “Istanbul (Not Constantinople)”
  • “Teddy Bears’ Picnic”
  • “Love is Like a Violin”
  • “Hokey Pokey”
  • “Roll Along Covered Wagon”
  • “Harbor Lights”


READJimmy Kennedy Biography at


READ: Jimmy Kennedy – The Irish Troubador




1982: Hyde Park Bombing

IRA bombs cause carnage in London, resulting in the deaths of 11. The  first bomb ( a nail bomb planted in a car near Hyde Park killed two soldiers of the Household Cavalry and injured more than 20 others. A second bomb exploded less than two hours later killed six soldiers of the Royal Green Jackets who were given a concert at a band stand in Regents Park.

In 1987, Danny McNamee, a native of Crossmaglen was convicted of the bombings and sentenced to 25 years. McNamee was released in 1998 as part of the Good Friday Agreement. Although an admitted Republican, he continued to protest his innocence even after release and his conviction was eventually overturned in December 1998.

In May 2013, British police charged 61 year old John Downey with murder and conspiracy to cause an explosion in relation to the 1982 bombing.


SEE: BBC Report on Hyde Park bombing.




WATCH: A Short History of Ireland

Want to learn more about Ireland? See these images and more in the acclaimed For the Love of Being Irish

Irish gift ideas. Best selling Irish booksRonnie Drew and Luke Kelly - Musical Irish Gifts to the worldJoyce Image in For the Love of Being IrishMichael Collins: Image from For the Love of Being Irish


This history is written by Irish author, business keynote speaker and award winning humorist IrishmanSpeaks – Conor Cunneen. If you spot any inaccuracies or wish to make a comment, please don’t hesitate to contact us via the comment button.

Visit Conor’s YouTube channel IrishmanSpeaks to Laugh and Learn.

Tags: Best Irish Gift, Creative Irish Gift, Unique Irish Gifts, Irish Books, Irish Authors, Today in Irish History TODAY IN IRISH HISTORY (published by IrishmanSpeaks)


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