Frank McCourt memoirs inspire Limerick students

Fintan Walsh

Reporter:

Fintan Walsh

Pictured at Sarsfield Barracks were Youthreach students  Kellie Barry, Lorna Madden, Kate Hughes, Annette Feehan, Mariah Moran and Tara Larkin with Lt Alan Rockett and Sgt Stephen Kelly [Picture: Adrian Butler]
A GROUP of young people from the Limerick Youthreach Centre have written, performed and relived the famous memoirs of author Frank McCourt at Sarsfield Barracks.

A GROUP of young people from the Limerick Youthreach Centre have written, performed and relived the famous memoirs of author Frank McCourt at Sarsfield Barracks.

Before receiving drama and scriptwriting certificates from Commandant Pat Murnane, around 20 students performed a play inspired by McCourt’s Angela Ashes, but from a modern-day perspective.

Limerick Youthreach, which is aimed at young people between 16 and 20, provides education and vocational programmes for more than 125 early school leavers in the city.

Teacher Róisín Cleary, who worked alongside drama co-ordinator Fiona Quinn, said the students were learning drama and writing skills, as well as studying art expression.

“As part of the programme in the Frank McCourt Museum our students are writing a modern day drama depicting the life of Frank McCourt. They have thoroughly enjoyed working with the drama teachers, Myles Breen and Fiona Quinn.

“They have really embraced the script-writing side of the course, and they have created all sorts of engaging drama scenes depicting modern day teenage life in Limerick city,” Ms Cleary said.

“I wrote a page of it [the play],” said student Gareth Butler, who was a part of the project since day one.

“When it was done, I was very excited. Seeing the finished piece was exciting because we actually got to contribute.”

“It wasn’t very hard because we had Fiona. Acting it out was probably the most fun part,” added actor Stuart O’Grady.

Una Heaton, director of the Frank McCourt Museum and curator of the event, said she was delighted with the results.

“They come out of their homes today where they learn to express themselves and live through acting and drama and it’s all very creative.”