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This month’s pub is the South Pole Inn in Annascaul on the beautiful Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry. The South Pole Inn was first opened by famous Irish Explorer Tom Crean in 1927. Crean, also known as the Irish Giant, made three harrowing Antartic expeditions between 1901-1917 before retiring to his hometown and opening the pub. Gary Percival, the pub’s current owner, views the pub as a “working museum” and has put great effort into telling Crean’s story to patrons and preserving his memory. The pub is adorned with photos of Crean and his adventures, while the upstairs holds a gallery of another famous local – Jerome Connor. Connor was a sculptor who left Annascul for the USA where he found great success creating public sculptures. When he returned to Ireland in the 1920’s he left a selection of his works to the people of Annascul, and those are now housed in the gallery above the pub. While the pub is no longer run by the Crean family, they maintain a strong connection with his descendants and even serve an Expedition Ale, a red ale brewed locally by Tom Crean’s granddaughter. Next time you find yourself exploring the Dingle Peninsula be sure to stop in the South Pole and raise a pint to the great Irish Giant.
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