Angela's Ashes

The McCourt Family

Margaret dies in America


Margaret, Frank's only sister, dies just seven weeks after birth. This causes Angela to go into a depression, and is the reason her cousins wrote to her mother asking if she and her family could return to Ireland.

Move back to Ireland

April 1934

After Margaret dies in America, Angela's mother pays for them to come back to Ireland. Ireland has no more work to offer them than America does, and Malachy Sr. can't get a job any where in Limerick because he's from Northern Ireland.

Oliver Dies

May 1935

Oliver passes soon after catching an unknown illness.

Eugene Dies

November 1935

Just six months after his twin dies, the family wakes up to Eugene dead from pneumonia.

Frank's First Communion


After much preparation in school, Frank goes through his first confession and first communion. This is a big deal in the Catholic faith, and very celebrated in the family. Things begin to go wrong when Franks throws up his first communion breakfast at his grandmother's house.

Alphie McCourt is born

July 1940

Frank's first confirmation


Frank goes through his first confirmation, and gets a nose bleed at the end of it. This is the start of his typhoid fever. His mother is very worried about him bleeding on his suit.

Frank almost dies from Typhoid fever


His typhoid fever goes misdiagnosed for a long time, passed off as a "growing phase" or a "bad cold". When he finally is taken to the hospital, his father visits and kisses him on the forehead for the first time.

Frank's father leaves to go to England


During WWII, Malachy Sr. leaves Limerick to find work in wartime factories in Coventry, England. He rarely sent money home and eventually abandoned Angela and the children all together.

Frank gets kicked out of school.


The Irish Christian brothers ejected Frank from school at age 13. Frank still continued to read and write, and eventually went on to teach for 30 years in America. Immediately after being kicked out of school, he held odd jobs and stole food in an attempt to support his mom and surviving siblings.

Frank realizes he needs to leave Ireland


After Mrs. Brigid Finucane forces Frank to write threatening letters to her customers, Frank realizes that he needs to get out of Ireland. He realizes that he is able to get himself out of poverty and better himself in another country, that he can break the cycle of poverty for himself.

Frank McCourt goes back to America


With the money he saved from a Post Office job, Frank left Ireland at the Age of 19 to start a new life in America.


Economic War with Britain

1932 - 1938

This war disrupted the exchange trade of Irish cattle for British coal. Unemployment rose significantly during this time.

Catholicism has a "special position" with the citizens.


Although Catholic values were already favored in Ireland after 1921, adding this to the constitution made it more official. The Catholic church had enormous political power at this time that no one really questioned. Ireland did not establish any religion, but Article 44 clearly stated that the majority of Ireland's citizens were Catholic.

Updated Constitution


This new constitution replaced and improved upon the 1922 constitution. The major change to the constitution was the President was directly elected to replace the Governor-General.

World War 2

1939 - 1945

The war had a big impact on Ireland, as Irish men began to join the English army and make money. During WWII families began to have more money because the husbands were earning money while fighting and sending it home.