Four Irish explorers are expected to make history this week when they become the first Irish expedition to make it to the South Pole.

The team of three men and one woman, led by veteran adventurer and Cork man Pat Falvey, 50, have been journeying since November.

Two of the squad, Shaun Menzies, 42, and Jonathon Bradshaw, 36, are relatively inexperienced high-altitude trekkers who were invited to join the expedition.

The final member is leading female adventurer Dr Clare O'Leary, 35, who, if all goes to plan on Tuesday, will become the first Irish woman ever to make it to the South Pole.

Team leader Mr Falvey said 'I have never experienced the raw elements that this expedition has thrown at me.'

'I have climbed extensively around the world, including Everest twice..and cannot attempt to explain the environment down here....It's the toughest thing I've ever done.' he said.

In 2004 Co Kerry man Mike Barry became the first Irish man to trek to the South Pole as part of an international expedition.

But Mr Falvey's squad are set to become the first all-Irish team to perform the feat.

The four adventurers have retraced the steps of some of the best-known Irish Antarctic explorers, including Ernest Shackleton and Tom Crean.

The squad, who make up the Beyond Endurance expedition, have travelled around 1100km since they set out on their trek on 8 November, with each member hauling a sledge weighing in excess of 150kg.