Frank McCourt Museum saved- Una Heaton, curator of Frank McCourt Museum and Prof Joseph O Connor, UL, attending the launch of the The UL/Frank McCourt Summer School in Creative Writing at the Frank McCourt Museum, Limerick. Picture: Oisin McHugh/FusionShooters.
A well known Limerick businessman has purchased Leamy House in Hartstonge Street and as a result, the Frank McCourt Museum opened since 2012, is to remain in place, its curator Una Heaton has confirmed.
Last April a campaign had been launched to save the home of the Frank McCourt museum in Limerick from sale. Artist Una Heaton, and the curator of the museum erected the banner ‘Save our Museum’ outside Leamy House on Hartstonge Street, which is home to the museum and a number of other businesses.
The museum building was the subject of a dispute with a bank due to other financial affairs. Acclaimed artist Una said, “I am absolutely delighted. I am just over the moon. The phoenix is rising from the ashes.”
Leamy House was built in 1843 out of the proceeds of a trust set up by William Leamy. The property was formerly the school of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Angela’s Ashes author and it closed as a school in 1952 and Una’s father in law Jack Heaton purchased the building in 1956.
This September marks the 20th anniversary since Angela’s Ashes, Frank McCourt’s “masterpiece”, was launched to the world.
The premises featured in Angela’s Ashes and homes many important artefacts relating to the life of the award-winning author. Mr. McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes is an account of a Catholic childhood in Limerick after moving from New York, Angela’s Ashes went on to become a best-seller and later was produced into a film.
This past summer alone over 1,650 people from Australia travelled all the way to Limerick to visit the museum. Una described the trip as a “pilgrimage” for most visitors, “it is always uplifting and emotional to see how over joyed and awestruck visitor of the museum as they feel privileged to stand in the building where Frank McCourt attended school.”
“We have quadrupled our number of visitors this year. We are well-known, and the fact the museum is remaining open is great for the future of Limerick. We are enhancing the museum. We are going to be making some improvements in the coming weeks – watch this space.”
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