10th March, 2011

Irish and American Philanthropists Honour Frank McCourt

President Bill Clinton led tributes to Limerick man and best-selling author, Frank McCourt, who was posthumously honored in New York this week by the American Ireland Fund and the University of Limerick Foundation.

The launch of a $1 million campaign for the Frank McCourt Chair in Creative Writing secured $500,000 at the opening event in New York. Appropriately the Chair in Creative Writing will have a particular focus on Memoirs.

Leading literary figures, including Billy Collins, Tom Cahill, Colum McCann, Rose Styron, and Pete Hamill joined Frank’s widow, Ellen, and his brothers, Malachy and Alfie for an intimate evening in New York to celebrate the memory of this much-loved and renowned Irish writer.

“Everyone has a story to tell in life but Frank wrote uniquely about his, and in doing so, has inspired many others to put their own stories down on paper”, stated President Clinton in his tribute to McCourt’s literary genius. “I love that the University of Limerick will bring creative writing and storytelling back to Ireland in a fresh way through this Chair.”

The American Ireland Fund Chairman, Loretta Brennan Glucksman reminisced on her own experiences of Frank, his insights and his humor.  She said the Fund was delighted to support the establishment of the Chair as an opportunity to inspire young writing talent through Frank’s work and life.

University of Limerick President, Professor Don Barry, remembered fondly Frank's commitment to the advancement of the University of Limerick as a Director of the UL Foundation.

“Frank McCourt was a true friend of the University of Limerick, and it is highly appropriate that we honor his legacy in this way”, said Professor Barry.