The Rewind

Gerry Hannan Vs Frank McCourt - The Most Bizarre Late Late Show Argument Of Them All

Gerry Hannan Vs Frank McCourt - The Most Bizarre Late Late Show Argument Of Them All

Many of you will be familiar of the iconic read 'Angela's Ashes', an emotional memoir by the late Frank McCourt about his upbringing in poverty in Limerick City.

The book won a Pulitzer prize and eventually was made into a feature film, featuring performances from the likes of Emily Watson and Robert Carlyle.

In 1999, McCourt appeared on the Late Late Show to promote the movie, but things took a sour turn when host Pat Kenny introduced his arch-nemesis from the crowd.

To Pat and the Late Late Show's producers - they were probably expecting a harsh question or two but certainly not what would transpire. What they had on their hands was McCourt's biggest detractor; Gerry Hannan.

McCourt was quick to disassociate himself from Hannan, as Pat introduced him. "You were kind of involved in an ongoing battle with Frank McCourt." McCourt said, "I don't know anything about it."

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"You know everything about it, Frank," Hannan piped back. "You have been peddling lies about Limerick for the last two and a half years. In every television station, in every newspaper."

Gerry Hannan was responsible for compiling a list of 117 inaccuracies about Frank McCourt's novel Angela's Ashes. Ranging from accusations about McCourt's relationships to lying about his impoverished upbringing.

Hannan began his tirade accusing McCourt of lies regarding a relationship with a girl by the name of Teresa Carmody. Hannan believed it was out of taste as the girl had died three days after their alleged 'affair', but McCourt said he made the name up.

"You are a self confessed liar," Hannan said. "Teresa Carmody was three days away from her death when you said you had sexual intercourse with her. You never mentioned anywhere in your book that it was with her consent. Was it with her consent Frank?".

The question put McCourt into a visible state of anger, as his demeanour changed dramatically. "There is no Teresa Carmody. It's a made up name. Teresa Carmody is a made up name. The young lady; you will never know her name," McCourt responded.

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What was evident at this stage was the argument was very personal between the two. It was unlikely one would find anyone else on planet earth that knew as much about McCourt's book as Gerry Hannan. He was far from finished.

"Jesus Christ up in heaven. You hammered your mother, you depicted her as a lazy, good for nothing whore. You owe her an apology," Hannan argued. Pat Kenny tried to intervene at that point, but he was barking up the wrong tree.

"I drove from Limerick tonight to make three points and I want to make them. You censored me before Pat and you're not censoring me again," Hannan said. He was referencing an RTÉ radio interview that had been edited.

Gerry Hannan continued to call out Frank McCourt, claiming he had a good job and was involved in the scouts. "Misery, misery, misery. The whole flipping way," he said.

"If that's the case, why did you not discuss your well paid employment with Jackie Brosnan? Why did you not discuss your years with St Joseph's Boy Scout Movement?"

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The audience at this stage were in a state of disbelief. Crowd members were visibly laughing away at what had transpired, and at one point an applause erupts, to which Pat Kenny asks the question, "I'm not sure who the audience are applauding by the way."

Things started to get out of control then. Hannan made his boldest claim to date, stating to McCourt, "You seem to have a morbid fascination of necrophilia."

Frank McCourt was quick to respond in bizarre type fashion. He said, "If people don't mind, I like women. I love women. I'm mad about women. I've been married three times and the one I'm married to now is going to last forever because I'm infatuated with women."

It seemed Hannan's niche references were flying over the heads of the audience and watchers from home. McCourt continued his displeasure at the whole affair. "I don't know why you're so obsessed with me. Don't you have a life? Go ahead and live! Do something! Go ahead!"

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At this point, Pat Kenny has no choice but to bring the mobile microphone over to the audience and tame the out of control Gerry Hannan. "Most people watching this have no idea of the people you are talking about," Kenny said.

Another iconic moment from six minutes of utter mayhem is Pat's reveal of Gerry Hannan's new book. Pat says, "His latest book is called "Tis'". Your latest book is called "Tisn't"."

Gerry props up in his seat and corrected him. "It's called 'Tis' in me ass"." At that point, Hannan looked like the cat that got the cream, with the crowd behind him erupting with laughter.

As the interview/argument/war of words came to a close, Frank McCourt's wife got involved with a bold claim. Gerry Hannan had come out with a book called 'Ashes' which was a response to Angela's Ashes.

"Gerry Hannan didn't even write the book Ashes. It was written by a fella by the name of Frank Hamilton," Ellen McCourt said. "Frank Hamilton is in prison at the moment for sex crimes."

So from Frank McCourt claiming to not know of Gerry Hannan and his ramblings, to his wife knowing niche details about his last book. You couldn't have written it.

We're not sure what emotions this interview brings out in us, but the utter chaos and disruption Gerry Hannan caused made for great Live TV and something we can watch back for years to come.

See Also: The Home Of Dublin's Greatest Fry-Up Is Sadly Closing Its Doors

Jonathan Byrne

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