- 12 Jun 19
Hot Press is desperately sad to announce the news this morning that Philomena Lynott has died. Philomena was the author of the memoir My Boy (with Hot Press' Jackie Hayden) and mother of the legendary Philip Lynott, often described as Ireland’s greatest rock star
Hot Press is desperately sad to announce the news this morning that Philomena Lynott has 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.
Philomena Lynott (pictured with Hot Press editor Niall Stokes) has 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.
“She was a formidable and brilliant woman,” Hot Press editor Niall Stokes said. “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.
"As a publisher, it was a joy to work with her. She was brilliant with fans and readers, proudly taking the time to sign books, in shops all over Ireland and listening to and corresponding with fans of Philip's. And what a story My Boy told! She grew up in a terribly conservative world, but she never allowed herself to be co-opted to the ordinary. She had a rebel heart, which expressed itself in all sorts of ways, and which hugely inspired Philip – and his music. He loved her deeply and dearly and she was immensely proud of him and of what he achieved.
"Her campaign to have the statue of Philip erected was a marvellous example of strength of character and conviction winning over bureaucratic inertia. She also had a great sense of humour. It was a marvellous pleasure always when she came to the Hot Press offices, talking to all of the staff and generally making mischief. Anyone who knew her will have been aware too of just how youthful she remained right through to the end. She will be hugely missed – not just by fans of Thin Lizzy but by fans of Philomena Lynott."
Keep an eye on hotpress.com for updates.