Ghostly encounters at Frank McCourt’s former school

The former Leamy schoolhouse in Limerick City

GHOSTLY goings-on at the former Frank McCourt Museum in Limerick City come under the watchful gaze of paranormal investigators in a new book.

‘Drowned Out Voices’ gives us a chance to follow GhostÉire, a “paranormal psychical study group”, as they continue on their journey to reach beyond the veil, at 13 historic locations around the country.

The team give personal insights into the investigations they have covered over the years; backed up with rational thinking towards any strange phenomena they encountered.

The book features intriguing tales about otherworldly entities at sites such as the former Frank McCourt Museum on Hartstonge Street in Limerick, Loop Head Lighthouse, Tarbert Bridewell Gaol, Athlone Castle and the Old Cork Waterworks.

Anthony Kerrigan of GhostÉire reassures the Limerick Post that spirits sometimes like to blend in, and if they want to make contact, won’t harm us, if done in the right way.

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“I’d say some spirits like to carry on living after they die. Who says you can’t watch a football match, visit a bar or walk with your loved ones in the afterlife?” he suggests.

During GhostÉire’s visit to Leamy School, the former alma mater of Limerick’s Pulitzer Prize-winning author of ‘Angela’s Ashes’, Frank McCourt, we learn of many strange occurrences.

‘Drowned Out Voices’ tells of ghostly children’s footsteps scurrying along the corridors and eerie humming sounds in the classroom at the old Tudor building, as well as many other spine-tingling anomalies.

“Anthony was setting up equipment in the classroom. As he was attaching a video camera to a tripod, he swore that he heard a humming sound, similar to the noise a child would make in mid-thought,” team member Sinead Houlihan explains.

When Sinead and GhostÉire’s Jennifer Cremins arrived in the classroom soon after their walkabout, Anthony told them what he had heard.

“To their astonishment, they immediately disclosed to Anthony that they had both individually heard a similar sort of hum before they entered the classroom. It brought to the fore that we might be dealing with past pupils of the school,” GhostÉire revealed.

Later, during their investigation, the ghosthunters held a séance in the classroom in front of the schoolmaster’s table.

“We hoped to guide or lure the spirits in with synchronised timing. The full spectrum camera, video camera and digital sound recorder were switched on to record all at the same time,” Anthony said.

During the séance, what is described as a “distinct shout” came through on the paranormal investigators’ full spectrum camera, which was soon followed by two clear knocks as questions were posed to the spirits.

The séance would take a whole new twist a couple of minutes later as Anthony concentrated on a green double-decker toy bus on the table in front of him.

“Anthony remained fixated on the toy. He let out a loud groan. This startled the female team member. Her bowed head rose to attention. The groan showed up easily on the digital sound recorder and on the video camera above the schoolmaster’s desk.

“Anthony chuckled. He spoke yet, the sound of his voice sounded suppressed. ‘I’m small…’ he said, then his voice reset to how he would normally talk, but the vocabulary was strange.”

GhostÉire maintain that another spirit had channelled into Anthony’s soul and, partially, his body at this time.

A voice was also caught on the video camera above the schoolmaster’s desk and on the digital sound recorder. “It has to be up to you”, a feminine voice is heard saying, as the team members talk between themselves.

So, is Leamy School haunted?

To find out, pick up a copy of ‘Drowned Out Voices’ in O’Mahony’s Bookshop.