Minister of State and Kildare South Fine Gael TD Martin Heydon welcomed the announcement by Chief Executive of Kildare County Council at the recent Athy Heritage Museum AGM.

Cllr. Ivan Keatley a director of the Athy Heritage Museum said “This commitment of funding will ensure that this really exciting project will be funded through to completion.”

Athy hosts the world’s only permanent exhibition to the Kilkea-born 20th Century Polar explorer Ernest Shackleton. Shackleton’s 1914-16 Endurance Expedition to the Antarctic is regarded as one of the epic stories of human survival and it is only right and fitting that he be honoured and celebrated in his own locality in this manner.

Minister Heydon, who is also Chairman of the Friends of the Athy Heritage Centre/Shackleton Museum stated “The commitment of this funding from Kildare Council Council is in addition to the previous Government allocation through the Rural Regeneration Development Fund of €2.7m for the museum and upgrade of Emily Square.

“As we approach the centenary of Shackleton’s death in Jan 1922, a significant step is being made to reclaim the strong Irish/Kildare connection to this globally figure. The completion of this project will be a key driver of tourism for Athy as well as greatly enhancing the public realm in the heart of the town.”