McCourt museum damaged in burglary

MAJOR damage has been caused during a burglary at the Frank McCourt Museum in Limerick.

The museum had featured on coast-to-coast television in the US on St Patrick’s Day.

Una Heaton who, with her husband John, developed the museum at the old Leamy’s School on Hartstonge Street — which the author attended — said yesterday she was devastated at the damage caused.

Doors were smashed and old school desks upturned. The culprits took a computer and printer and a small amount of cash.

Ms Heaton, a well-known artist, said: “I am gutted. I can’t believe this could happen. Crime has got completely out of hand here in Ireland. We were travelling around New York when we were over for the St Patrick’s Day broadcast which featured the museum, and you felt safe. Then, after we return home we come and see this damage to the museum. I was very shocked.

“Eight doors were broken and smashed. And then we have all the hassle and upset that people have broken and intruded into your property.

“Hopefully the guards will catch them. It was wanton vandalism. It is so upsetting, But we are open for business and always will be,” she said.

The workshop of tailor Joe Clancy, located in the same building, was also wrecked.

He said: “I am only trying to make a living and people are doing this to us. It was havoc basically.”

Ellen McCourt, widow of the Angela’s Ashes author, travelled with his brothers from New York last May when Ellen officially opened the museum and unveiled a bronze bust of the author.

Since it opened, the museum has become a major tourism attraction.

A television crew from a big US network last month spent a day at the museum doing the St Patrick’s Day package.

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