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Down to Earth First All Ireland Arctic Expedition

Three Irish men embark on a 6-month journey to work and live on one of the harshest climates on Earth. They plan to conduct environmental experiments, research new territories and create art from the landscape. How will they survive on this frozen land?

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Down to Earth First All Ireland Arctic Expedition

Danny Osborne, Gerry Wardell and John O'Meara plan a six-month expedition to live and work on Ellesmere Island, a part of the Qikiqtaaluk Region lying within the Canadian Arctic.

They plan to investigate the landscape to see if they can find similarities between the marks the ice has made and tracks that are visible in Ireland. They will record the migratory movements of birds travelling from Ireland to the Arctic, and gain insight into local wildlife from the native people. 

Danny, an artist, draws inspiration from the landscape and gets ready to undertake the difficult task of painting with gloves on. 

They have undertaken 18 months of preparation to make sure they are in peak physical condition so that their bodies can cope with freezing temperatures of minus 40 degrees. They plan to counteract the frostbite with layers, layers and more layers, and melt the ice to make a hot brew. Their mental preparation includes getting ready for the isolation and expecting times of complete boredom, plus understanding each other's need for personal space as they will be living together in close quarters for six months. A good supply of books is needed to keep them entertained on this lonely island. 

Produced by Siobhan MacHugh and Presented by Ciana Campbell. (First broadcast in 1981)

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