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Monday 15 July 2019

Philomena remembered as 'force of nature' as mourners pay respects

The funeral mass of Philomena Lynott in Sutton. Photo: Mark Condren
The funeral mass of Philomena Lynott in Sutton. Photo: Mark Condren
Sorcha O'Connor

Sorcha O'Connor

Irish film maker Jim Sheridan has said he would like to make a film about the life of Phil Lynott and his "strong" mother Philomena.

He was among mourners at the 88-year-old's funeral held in St Fintan's Church in Sutton yesterday.

"It feels like the end of a story. I'd love to see a movie being made. I would make it, there was a lot of talk about it and we are still talking about it," he told the Irish Independent.

Ms Lynott was remembered as a "force of nature" at the funeral Mass. She passed away last Wednesday after a battle with cancer.

The Mass was celebrated by Fr Bryan Shortall, a friend of Philomena's from the Capuchin Order.

Her coffin arrived at the seaside church by a horse-drawn carriage with two white horses.

Gifts were brought to the altar by family and friends at the beginning of the ceremony, including a small statue of her son Thin Lizzy front-man Phil Lynott.

A wreath was signed from Bono, the Edge and Adam Clayton, and many of the mourners wore Thin Lizzy T-shirts.

Funeral: The coffin of Philomena Lynott is brought to St Finian’s Church Sutton. Photo: Mark Condren
Funeral: The coffin of Philomena Lynott is brought to St Finian’s Church Sutton. Photo: Mark Condren
Saying goodbye: DJ Smiley Bolger and musician Brush Shiels were among the mourners who gathered at the funeral Mass of Philomena Lynott in Sutton at St Finian’s Church. Photo: Mark Condren
Mourners gather at the funeral Mass of Philomena Lynott in Sutton at St Finian’s Church. Photo: Mark Condren

Friends and family of Ms Lynott heard that she was "heartbroken" when her son died.

"Philomena wasn't afraid to tell us that she was crushed and hurt when Philip died a young man.

"She talked of giving Phil's gravestone a good kick for what he did to her, but it was always because she loved him so much," Fr Shortall told the congregation.

He described her as a mother who genuinely put people first, and said she was devoted to her son.

"She lived her life at the service of others despite the difficulties and struggles that came along," Fr Shortall added.

"Certainly we all know of her devotion to her beloved Philip.

"In the last 33 years she made sure that his legacy as an artist, musician and a poet was firmly passed on."

The service was concluded by Ms Lynott's brother Peter reading a poem he had written for his late nephew at the time of his passing in 1986.

He also thanked mourners who gathered for attending the service and said that writing a speech ahead of the funeral had been one of the hardest things he ever had to do.

"When I sat down to write this there were so many beautiful things to say but I didn't know where to start.

"She was not only beautiful on outside but she had a beautiful soul," he said.

He urged others "not to feel sorrow for her death but grateful her presence blessed their lives".

"I am honoured to be her little brother, to sister Irene in the US she couldn't make it - we love you very much."

"This is not goodbye Philomena, it's au revoir," he added.

The coffin was brought out of the church as Thin Lizzy's Philomena played, and a round of applause erupted as the lyrics "if you see my mother please give her all of my love, as she has a heart of gold there as good as god above" rang through the church.

The burial took place in St Fintan's cemetery.

Irish Independent

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