Based on Frank McCourt’s best-selling memoir of this childhood in 1930’s Limerick by Irish expat Frank McCourt, the walk follows the experience of young Frankie and his family as they persist in all odds to escape the poverty endemic in the slums of pre-war Limerick.
Born in Brooklyn in August 1930, Frank was the oldest of Malachy and Angela McCourt. The McCourt family moved back from America where they had gone in hopes of making a better life which wasn’t to be as they shortly returned to Limerick city shortly after leaving. Coming back at a time when Ireland had little to offer, this proved a great mistake.
When disease, hunger and malnutrition takes his brothers and sisters from him, young Frankie and his brother Malachy grow up little realising that life has more to offer than old potatoes and boiled pigs head for Christmas dinner. The family were crammed into a tenement slum. The upstairs room was ‘Italy’, warm and dry. Downstairs was Ireland, wet and cold. The rats, the death, the shared latrine and the smell of poverty and neglect pervade every paragraph of this powerful book. Having a father suffering from alcoholism who couldn’t provide for the family also didn’t help their circumstance.
The guided tour around the streets where Frank grew up covers a vast amount of Limerick city. Following the footsteps of Frank McCourt takes you through various locations mentioned in the book-through historic Georgian Limerick viewing the stone-faced Georgian offices and townhouses with frame St. John’s Square. Through the streets & parks John played in, the street where the McCourt’s family resided, to the Leamy House, the school Frank attended until his 14th birthday the covers it all providing a truly immersive experience.
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