Saturday 20 July 2019

'A warrior': Phil Lynott's mother dies from cancer

Legacy: Philomena Lynott was the main force in ensuring her son Phil’s music was remembered. Photo: Collins
Legacy: Philomena Lynott was the main force in ensuring her son Phil’s music was remembered. Photo: Collins

Fiona Dillon and Callum Lavery

Philomena Lynott, the mother of Thin Lizzy frontman Phil Lynott, who died at the age of 88 has been remembered as "warm, funny and a warrior queen".

The Dubliner died yesterday morning after battling cancer.

President Michael D Higgins led tributes to the mother-of-three.

"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," the President said.

"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."

Among those who shared memories was former RTÉ newsreader Anne Doyle, who said Ms Lynott had rung to say goodbye.

She said: "Philomena was very fond of my partner Dan McGrattan.

"She rang him and myself a couple of weeks ago to say goodbye. But it was a very startling thing, because she said: 'I'm 88, and I have had a wonderful life, but I have all my arrangements made, and I am ready to go.'

"She was a marvellous woman. She was warm, funny and a warrior queen."

Ms Lynott had quietly battled cancer for a number of years.

Born on October 22, 1930, after leaving school she went to work in England, when she found she was pregnant with Philip, whose father was Cecil Parris, from Guyana. She had two more children, Philomena (born March 1951) and Leslie (born June 1952).

Her autobiography, 'My Boy', documented the relationship between her and her famous son, who died aged 36 in 1986 after years of drug abuse. She was a key figure in getting a bronze statue of Lynott put up in Dublin in 2005.

Niall Stokes, editor of 'Hot Press Magazine', confirmed her death yesterday morning.

"She was a formidable and brilliant woman. 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," he said.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News