Launch of Frank McCourt Museum,Limerick (July 2011)
The Official Launch of the Museum on 14th July 2011 by Malachy McCourt
The Irish Times,Friday 15th July 2011
THE SPIRIT of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Frank McCourt will never leave the building that now houses a museum in his memory, his older brother said yesterday.
Malachy McCourt was speaking in Limerick, where he opened the Frank McCourt Museum.
The museum is housed on the site of the former Leamy School on Hartstonge Street which Frank McCourt and his brothers attended while growing up in Limerick. It was the brainchild of Limerick artist Una Heaton who has recreated the Limerick described in McCourt’s book Angela’s Ashes.
An emotional Malachy McCourt said he was not sure if his late brother would be “highly amused or highly embarrassed” by the occasion.
He said the author never wanted to be remembered as a writer but as a teacher who loved words and who hoped all children would be able to write their own stories.
“I’m sure he would have something flippant to say like ‘I would join ye but my wings are in the repair shop’,” the 79-year-old joked.
Mr McCourt said people who weren’t even alive when his brother was growing up in Limerick had criticisedAngela’s Ashes .
“But you have to walk a mile in somebody’s shoes to know what kind of a life they had or what they felt,” he told those gathered.
What was sure was that Frank McCourt loved Limerick, he added.
“He once said, ‘Limerick is in my bones just like my marrow and will always be there’, so in his own way he loved this city.”
He assured those gathered that the museum would not be a place of dead things or dead thinking, but one of inspiration.
-Reproduced with the kind permission of Kathryn Hayes(words) & Liam Burke,Press22(photo)