IT HAS attracted tourists from all across the globe, sparked interest from locals who never knew it existed, and last weekend had a visit from the Philippine Ambassador to Ireland. It is, of course, Limerick’s newly opened Frank McCourt museum.
Una Heaton, who runs the centre, said she was surprised and delighted to receive the call from the Ambassador’s office, requesting a special private visit after reading about the recent opening of the museum on Hartstonge Street.
The ambassador, Ariel Y. Abadilla, is a huge fan of Frank McCourt, she said, and especially his first memoir, the best-selling ‘Angela’s Ashes’.
“He read it [the opening] in the paper, and loves Frank McCourt and said he had to come to Limerick. It’s great for us. He went on the [Angela’s Ashes walking] tour afterwards with Mick O’Donnell and loved it,” said Ms Heaton.
The ambassador enjoyed an Irish coffee in the museum, which was McCourt’s former alma mater, signed the visitor’s book and posed for photos as the headmaster of the class.
She added that he promised to send “loads of tourists to Limerick.” She said the reaction to the museum since it opened has been “unbelievable.” “We’ve had so many locals coming in, who didn’t even know it was there. And there have been a lot of old pupils of Leamy’s school coming in,” she said. There is a €3 entry charge.