Blow to Limerick's cultural scene as museum announces closure

Mike Finnerty

Reporter:

Mike Finnerty

Email:

michael.finnerty@limerickleader.ie

Blow to Limerick's cultural scene as museum announces closure

Una Heaton Conor McCourt with his father Malachy and children Cole and Gus Picture: Michael Cowhey

LIMERICK'S Arts community has been dealt a blow with the news the Frank McCourt Museum is to close its doors on October 30.

The museum, located on Harstonge Street, was established in 2011 by the artist Una Heaton but in a social media post, she announced its closure.

"It is definitely closing, I can't afford the rent, rates or insurance anymore," she told the Leader, while praising her landlord for being as supportive as he could in the past two years.

"I tried so hard, I gave it all I had and the McCourt family have been brilliant, Frank's brothers and Ellen too.

"I reckon Frank is probably up in heaven now saying, "That's Limerick!" His ashes are here in the museum, his presence really pervades the building and it has meant so much to people in the last 10 years.

"People from Limerick who said they hated the book, came in and gained a new appreciation for Frank and his writing. I have 10 visitors books full of lovely comments," she added.

Since the announcement yesterday evening, there have been 3,000 messages of support online.

"We hope your memories will stay with you for a long time as will mine," the post read, while reminding visitors that "our doors will be open for another month to welcome our final visitors."

The attraction was crticially acclaimed, ranking at number two of museums to visit in Limerick and number six of things to do in Limerick City on TripAdvisor.

It offered walking tours of Limerick inspired by McCourt's upbringing, which was brought to international prominence with the seminal novel Angela's Ashes and the 1999 Alan Parker film.