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Limerick City Enterprise Board
At the entrance to the museum, the visitor passes a bronze bust on a plinth of the late Dr. Frank McCourt. Inside, the museum showcases a classroom of the 1930’s and the McCourt home, as described in “Angela’s Ashes”. Wall murals depict:
The young Frank in uniform cycling to work
Angela inviting you to visit their home, comprising of the bedroom and kitchen
A gathering of children from the nearby lanes.
A collection of memorabilia is seen in display cases. Items, such as, school books of the period and old photos – all donated by former pupils of Leamy School.
The Museum's Aims
- To establish itself as a centre whereby cultural and educational projects will find a home for growth. Already, three such projects are now based in Leamy House.
- To heighten an awareness of the achievements of Frank McCourt, who grew up in abject poverty and to let the museum tell his story in line with the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Angela’s Ashes.
- To showcase the classroom of the 1930’s where Frank and his siblings attended as pupils in real life and encourage today’s school children to visit the museum and participate in selected school games and competitions.
- To incorporate a recreation of the McCourts' home, according to the book's description in 'Angela's Ashes'.
Leamy House (formerly known as Leamy School) is a tudor-style, listed building with an interesting facade, complete with tower, turrets, ornamental chimneys and splendid gargoyles carved in limestone and sandstone, adorning a fine street which is a memorial to one of Limerick’s greatest benefactors, Lady Lucy Hartstonge, wife of Sir Henry Hartstonge, and sister of Edmond Sexton Pery, Speaker of the Irish House of Commons.
The building was erected in 1843 through the munificence of William Leamy who, before he died some years earlier, left a large sum of money in trust for the education of poor Protestant boys. Due to dwindling numbers in 1880, the school became a National School for Catholic boys and thus it continued until 1953.
Three years later,the premises were purchased by the Crescent Clothing Company which engaged in the manufacture of men’s clothing until 1993. The new owner was the late Jack Heaton.
Through the intervening years various interests rented space in Leamy House but in 2009,Limerick Artist,Una Heaton opened a gallery in a very large, bright room. Soon after, she commissioned a bust of the late Frank McCourt and undertook the transformation of this unique listed building into the Frank McCourt Museum.