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Philomena Lynott, mother of Thin Lizzy's Phil Lynott, dies aged 88

Philomena Lynott with her son's statue © Getty

Philomena Lynott, the mother of late Thin Lizzy legend Phil Lynott, has sadly died aged 88.

A post on Hot Press’s website confirmed that Philomena passed away this morning (Wednesday 12th June) following a lengthy battle with cancer.

Philomena was the author of the critically acclaimed and best-selling book, My Boy, in 1995, which she co-wrote with Jackie Hayden.

The book told the story of Phil Lynott’s life from his from his birth in the West Midlands to his early years in Manchester and Dublin and his global success with Thin Lizzy before his untimely death in 1986 aged just 36.

Philomena campaigned tirelessly for a statue of her son to be erected in Dublin and she duly unveiled the life-size bronze sculpture in 2005 on Harry Street, just off Dublin’s Grafton Street.

My Boy’s publishers Hot Press note that it “was one of the great joys of Philomena’s life that she succeeded in her campaign.”

Hot Press editor Niall Stokes comments: "Her campaign to have the statue of Philip erected was a marvellous example of strength of character and conviction winning over bureaucratic inertia.”

He added: “She was a formidable and brilliant woman. I am really proud that we were able to participate in telling her remarkable story. Because she was indeed a remarkable person. She was hugely determined and courageous – and absolutely committed to the campaign to ensure that Philip’s memory was kept alive and his legacy celebrated.”

Philomena Lynott with Scott Gorham in 2006 © Getty

A true champion and defender of her son’s timeless music, in 2012 she criticised Republican Party candidate Mitt Romney for playing ‘The Boys Are Back In Town’ at a US Presidential campaign rally.

"I am really upset at Philip's music being used in Mitt Romney's campaign in a political way that Philip would not have approved of," she told Hot Press. "As far as I am concerned, Mitt Romney's opposition to gay marriage and to civil unions for gays makes him anti-gay – which is not something that Philip would have supported. He had some wonderful gay friends, as indeed I do, and they deserve equal treatment in every respect, whether in Ireland or the United States.

"Neither would Philip have supported his policy of taxing the poor and offering tax cuts to the rich, which Paul Ryan is advocating. There is certainly no way that I would want the Lynott name to be associated with any of those ideas.” 

She also actively campaigned against drug abuse and urged people not to follow the same tragic path as her late son. 

"I try to tell young people the dangers of drugs - because the drugs killed him (Phil)," Philomena told the BBC in 2005. "He told all his friends not to let me know, and I used to say to Philip: 'Please never take heavy drugs'.

"The drugs are a killer and they are out there. They are in our schools - they are trapping our kids. If I can stop one mother going through what I went through, then I can go to my grave happy."

Philomena's death comes just four days after Metallica dedicated their cover of ‘Whiskey in the Jar’ to Phil Lynott at Slane Castle. 

Metallica frontman James Hetfield later took to Instagram for the first time since February 2018 to post a photo of himself kissing Phil Lynott's statue. 

He wrote: "Much respect and love to my favorite songwriter, Mr. Phil Lynott" 


Much respect and love to my favorite songwriter, Mr. Phil Lynott

A post shared by Papa Het 👊💀👊 (@papa_het_) on

RIP Philomena Lynott.

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