Former president Bill Clinton described the late Irish author Frank McCourt's literary achievements as inspirational at a special event in McCourt’s honor in New York last week.

The event was hosted by the University of Limerick Foundation to raise awareness of its campaign to raise funds for its Frank McCourt Chair in Creative Writing project.

McCourt, the author of the extraordinary bestselling memoir 'Angela’s Ashes,' died in 2009.

The University of Limerick hopes to raise $1 million for the project from supportive philanthropists. The funds will go to help emerging writers.

Also present at the event were Mr McCourt’s widow Ellen and his brothers, Malachy and Alfie. They were joined by literary figures including Colum MCann and poet and activist Rose Styron.