Philomena Lynott rejects Mitt Romney campaign's use of Philip Lynott's music

Philomena Lynott, mother of the late Irish rocker Philip Lynott, says Philip would not support anti-gay policies.

Philomena Lynott has reacted strongly against the use of her son Philip Lynott's music by the Republican Party candidate Mitt Romney's camp, in the US Presidential campaign.

Republican vice-Presidential runner Paul Ryan arrived on stage at the Republican National Convention last week to the strains of 'The Boys Are Back In Town', a Thin Lizzy hit from the band's 1976 album Jailbreak, written by Philip Lynott. Ryan has tried to give an edge of rock 'n' roll rebellion to the Romney ticket by talking up his love of music from AC/DC to Led Zeppelin. However, Philomena Lynott – herself a best-selling author – rejected the association of her son's music with the Republican Party cause.

"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.

"There is nothing I can do about it except express my views," Philomena added, "but I do want to be clear that I would not want Philip's music to be used in any way that could hurt a single person, and this is the effect of what happened with Paul Ryan using and abusing my son's music in that way. A lot of fans and musicians are very angry about it and I can fully understand why.

"There is a black President of America, which to me – as it would have been to Philip, as a proud, black Irishman – is wonderfully symbolic. I have a lot of time for Barack Obama, so to hear 'The Boys Are Back in Town' being appropriated by Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan in their campaign against him is deeply upsetting."

The now 81-year-old Philomena Lynott wrote a best-selling autobiography My Boy about the extraordinarily difficult times she and Philip endured in the UK and Ireland at the beginning of the '50s, following Philip's birth in 1949. The book, published by Hot Press Books, spent six weeks at No. 1 in the best sellers in Ireland in the spring of 2011.

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