The late, great Frank McCourt would abhor the idea of a statue of him being erected in his hometown of Limerick, according to his brother Malachy.
Limerick City Council has indicated it plans to erect a statue of the acclaimed writer on Bedford Row, the same location of the statue of late actor and fellow Limerick man Richard Harris, whom Frank infamously fought with in a New York bar.
Malachy McCourt told the Limerick Leader he got “a fit laughing” when he learned of the plans, saying his Pultizer Prize winning brother would consider the act frivolous, and would prefer a scholarship be created in his name for a disadvantaged student from Limerick.
"It is a meaningless, expensive kind of thing," he said of the proposed statue, adding that Frank’s widow, Ellen, agrees.
"What he would have wanted would be a scholarship for a poor kid, named after him. It would mean something if you educated someone in the spirit of Frank McCourt. But please, no statues.”
The world is still grieving the loss of the literary giant.
More than 200 people attended a memorial at the Manhattan Club at Rosie O’Grady’s in Manhattan, which was was originally intended to be a small family gathering.
Malachy said: “It was a grand, lovely evening. There were a lot of pictures of Frank passed about. He probably would have said 'God, will ye leave me alone.' There was a lot of laughter and tears.”
Malachy, along with writers Colm McCann and Peter Quinn, organized the get-together, which was attended by former U.S. President Bill Clinton, a friend of Frank’s.
"He asked courteously if he could come and say a few words,” said Malachy. “He was very sensitive, very respectful and very funny.”
Clinton’s speech drew howls from the crowd, recalling how Frank had not liked his own soul-searching memoir "My Life," and that the famous author particularly disagreed with him when Clinton wrote that the British Queen Mother looked wonderful as she aged. In retrospect , Clinton said to much laughter, he had to agree with McCourt on that one.
Thousands of people are expected to attend a planned public celebratory memorial for Frank McCourt will be held on October 6 in Symphony Space in New York.