Major damage has been caused during a burglary at the Frank McCourt Museum in Limerick.
Vandals smashed doors and left antique school desks upturned before stealing a computer, printer and a small amount of cash.
McCourt’s book ‘Angela’s Ashes’ about growing up in Limerick won him the Pulitzer Prize and was a runaway best seller as were two other books he wrote subsequently. ‘Angelas’ Ashes also became a major Hollywood film.
The museum which was developed by Una Heaton and her husband John at Frank McCourt’s old school on Hartstonge Street in County Limerick, has been featured on cable television here in the U.S. on St. Patrick’s Day.
A well known local artist, Una Heaton was desvastated by the news of the robbery.
“I can’t believe this could happen. Crime has got completely out of hand here in Ireland,” she told the Irish Examiner.
“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 museum was officially opened by Ellen McCourt, the widow of the "Angela’s Ashes" author last May and has since become a major tourist attraction.