Tom Crean was born in Gortacurraun, Annascaul Co. Kerry on the 20th of July 1877. In 1893 shortly before his 16th birthday he enlisted in the Royal Navy, leaving Minard aboard a cargo ship bound for England.
In 1901 while serving as an able seaman on board the HMS Ringarooma in New Zealand, Crean encountered Commander Robert Scott who had called on port to refit his ship Discovery while on route to the Antarctic. Crean volunteered to join the Discovery and was accepted for the expedition. It would be the first of three major expeditions to be undertaken by the young Kerryman.
Tom Crean retired from the Navy in 1920 and returned to Annascaul where he married and settled. He and his wife Ellen bought and rebuilt a public house by the river and named it “The South Pole Inn”. He spent the remainder of his days enjoying family life and eschewed the many attempts by visitors to engage him in tales of his exploits in the Antarctic.
Tom Crean died in 1938 from a ruptured appendix. His funeral was the largest ever witnessed in Annascaul. This seemingly indestructible man was finally laid to rest in the tiny cemetery in Ballynacourty, in a tomb he built himself, overlooking the hills of Kerry.
The determination, courage and perseverance of Tom Crean is an inspiration to all and we at the Tom Crean Business Centre are proud to have been granted the right to use his name as a badge of intent for the new ventures that will be undertaken within.