- 17 Jul 19
I first met Philomena when I was organising a Thin Lizzy tribute night in Waterford, less than 10 years after Philip had died. She came down and was just so gracious. She looked after everyone there – there were no airs and graces. It was as if I’d known her for years.
We became very good friends, and over the past 25 years or so, she became almost like a second mother to me. Any time I needed advice she’d give it to me, and she’d never pull her punches – she’d tell you exactly what she thought.
Up until the day she died, she really was the keeper of the flame – she did so much to keep Philip’s legacy alive. That culminated in the statue, which we’re all so proud of. She adored the socks off Philip.
She had a great standing with all the fans of Philip and of Thin Lizzy. You’d arrive out to her house sometimes, and the place would be like the meeting of the United Nations – it would be mobbed with fans, particularly around the time of his anniversary. These big, hard rockers would almost have tears in their eyes, to be talking to Philip’s mother. She’d be regaling them with stories, and they’d hang on every single word.
I’ve so many memories of her, but I’ll never forget when she came down to my house, not long after my second son was born. She looked at him and said, “I presume you called him Philip?” I had to let her down gently. She had such a wonderful sense of humour. I’ll always remember Philomena as an incredibly open, kind-hearted person.