Writer Alphie McCourt dies aged 75

Frank McCourt’s youngest brother published his own memoirs in 2009

Irish writer Alphie McCourt, who was the youngest brother of Pulitzer Prize winning author Frank McCourt, has died aged 75.

His only surviving brother Malachy McCourt confirmed the news of his death in a message on Facebook in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The 75-year-old died while taking an afternoon nap.

“We have no celebrations of his life on the books yet but we won’t let him go gentle into the good or bad night,” his brother wrote on Facebook.

Born in Limerick in July 1940, Alphie grew up in Limerick city before emigrating to America in 1959.

In 2009 he published his own memoirs entitled A long stone's throw. He also wrote a number of other books, most recently The Soulswimmer.

Speaking following his death, Una Heaton, curator of The Frank McCourt museum in Limerick, described Alphie McCourt as “one of nature’s gentlemen”.

“He was kind, warm and always softly spoken and had very deep feelings. He was very quirky; he had a great turn of phrase and a real dry wit,” she said.

“I’m delighted he was here for the opening of the museum and it’s a sad day for us all here today,” she added.

Last September, another brother of Frank’s, Michael McCourt, died in San Francisco aged 79. Frank McCourt died in July 2009.