Mayor to go to NY memorial

AS the family of Frank McCourt finalise plans to bury his ashes in Connecticut, the Mayor of Limerick asked them to consider sending some of his ashes back to Limerick to be scattered on the Shannon.

When asked about death on a visit to Limerick last year, Frank McCourt said: “Let them scatter my ashes over the Shannon and pollute the river.”

Mayor Kevin Kiely said he will travel to New York where a memorial service is to take place, to represent the people of Limerick.

“Frank’s book, Angela’s Ashes and the subsequent movie thrust Limerick onto the world spotlight. His compelling memoir brought a tourism boost to our city and he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Limerick, an institution he had always hoped would exist in his home town.”

His Pulitzer Prize winning Angela’s Ashes, of 1996, sold more than seven million copies.

“Limerick was very proud of Frank McCourt and what he managed to achieve in life after the poverty of his childhood in Roden Lane. I sent a message to him when he was ill to tell him how proud Limerick was of him.

“People here in Limerick speak in glowing terms of him. A few people criticised him, but they were just a few. The huge lines of people who queued up outside O’Mahony’s bookshop in O’Connell Street when he did a book signing of Angela’s Ashes was testimony to the esteem in which he was held in his native city,” Cllr Kiely said.

A book of condolence is to be opened today in Limerick City Hall.

The Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg also paid tribute: “Of all the great New York writers, few have captured the hearts of readers and the heart of the city as well as Frank McCourt.”

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