The management and staff of Scoil Mhuire in Knockangoshel felt privileged recently to welcome renowned ‘Tom Crean author’, Michael Smith. He discussed his books ‘Iceman’ and ‘Shackleton – The Boss’ and provided great insight into the remarkable life of Tom Crean and his Antarctic Expeditions.
After enjoying tea and locally made apple tart in the staff canteen, he delivered a very engrossing talk and informative slide-show in the largest possible class-room. This was followed by a marvellous question and answer session. He concluded by autographing copies of the class novel ‘The Iceman.’
Michael Smith is a best-selling author who specialises in the history of Polar exploration. He has written eight books, appeared on TV and radio and lectured at extensively at venues including: Buckingham Palace; the National Museum of Ireland; Queens University Belfast; the Royal Geographical Society; the Scott Polar Research Institute; Cambridge and University College Cork. His ‘An Unsung Hero – Tom Crean’ was a No 1 best seller in Ireland and largely responsible for raising awareness about Irish explorers.
His books led to a statue of Tom Crean being erected, stage plays and TV documentaries and the story being incorporated into the national curriculum in Irish schools.
An Unsung Hero was short-listed at the Banff Mountain Book Festival, 2002 and Tom Crean – An Illustrated Life was nominated for Irish Published Book of Year in 2007.
Michael Smith began writing history books after a career of 30 years as a leading newspaper journalist, specialising in business and politics.
He was Political Correspondent and Industrial Editor of The Guardian, City Editor of the Evening Standard and Business Editor of The Observer – and they loved him in Knocknagoshel.