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Deputy First Minister sends congratulations to Irish Polar team

9 January, 2008

Sinn Féin deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has sent his congratulations to the first-ever team of Irish explorers to reach the South Pole.

Mr McGuinness paid tribute to the skill and determination of the four-member expedition, made up of three men and a woman, which has taken 58 days to reach its destination. Deputy team leader Dr Clare O'Leary is the first Irish woman to complete the trip. In 2004 she became the first Irish woman to climb Mount Everest.

Mr McGuinness said:

"You have displayed incredible drive and determination in realising your goal. It is a tremendous achievement and one which you should be very proud of.

"All of you have shown tremendous endurance, strength of character and skill in ensuring this Antarctic expedition was such a success. Our warmest congratulations to you all. There will no doubt be a hero's welcome for you on your return home." ENDS

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