- 13 Jun 19
The President released a statement following the announcement of Philomena's death yesterday.
Hot Press shared the news yesterday morning, June 12, that that Philomena Lynott had died. Philomena – who came to national prominence when her memoir My Boy became a No.1 bestseller – was the mother of the legendary Philip Lynott of Thin Lizzy, often described as Ireland’s greatest rock star. Philomena was born on October 22, 1930. She was 88 years of age.
In the aftermath of her death, musicians, music fans and figures from across Ireland have been paying tribute to her life.
Among them was former Hot Press writer and President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins, who wrote:
"Meeting Philomena Lynott I was struck by her sense of humour, and the resilience which she summoned and on which she had to call many times in seeking to overcome the difficulties in her life.
"She is owed a debt of gratitude for her unstinting campaign to keep Phil Lynott’s legacy foremost in the public mind, and for her prominent role in public advocacy campaigns, including for the rights of members of the LGBT community and against drug use. It was a privilege to have met Philomena and to share parts of her life's journey."
An Extraordinary Life
Philomena Lynott had been battling with cancer for the past number of years. However, she had made the decision not to go through the full rigours of chemotherapy. She knew that the condition was terminal and lived with that awareness in recent times, managing the illness as best she could with great bravery, with the support of her best friend and closest confidante and ally Graham Cohen.
Philomena’s extraordinary life story was told in the book My Boy, written with Jackie Hayden and published by Hot Press Books. It was a two-time No.1 best seller. After leaving school, she departed from Dublin to work in England. However, her plans were forever changed when she discovered she was pregnant with Philip, whose father was Cecil Parris, from Guyana. Philomena gave birth to Philip in a hospital in West Bromwich, beginning a turbulent phase of her life, during which she would have two more children, Philomena (born March 1951) and Leslie (born June 1952) – the full story behind which was revealed for the first time in the second edition of My Boy, published – again by Hot Press Books – in 2011. Philip, of course, came to Dublin while still a young boy, and went on to become one of Ireland’s most revered songwriters and musicians in a series of bands from The Black Eagles to Thin Lizzy, and finally Grand Slam, and as a solo artist.
It was one of the great joys of Philomena’s life that she succeeded in her campaign to have a statue of Philip erected in Dublin. The statue is located on Harry Street, just off Dublin’s Grafton Street.