Republic of Ireland news

Mourners pay tribute at funeral of Philomena Lynott

The coffin of Philomena Lynott, mother of Thin Lizzy front man Phil Lynott. arrives at St Finians Church in Dublin. Picture by Niall Carson, Press Association
Michelle Devane, Press Association

Mourners at the funeral of Philomena Lynott, the mother of Thin Lizzy frontman Phil, have heard she was heartbroken and crushed when her son died as a young man.

But they were told she made sure that her son's legacy as an artist, musician and a poet was firmly passed on over the past 30 years.

Ms Lynott died on Wednesday, aged 88, after suffering from cancer.

The Dubliner's funeral service took place at St Fintan's Church in Sutton in the capital on Monday.

Hot Press editor Niall Stokes, DJ and musician BP Fallon, DJ Smiley Bolger, who was one of Phil's closest friends, and Dublin musician Brush Shiels were among those who attended the service.

President Michael D Higgins was represented by Commandant Dorothy Donnelly, while Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was represented by Captain Angela Lyons.

Ms Lynott's coffin arrived at the service in a white carriage pulled by two white horses.

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

Phil Lynott died in 1986, and a bronze statue of him stands just off Grafton Street in Dublin.

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 Bryan 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."

Her brother Peter Lynott paid an emotional tribute to his sister, who he said was beautiful not only on the outside, but had a beautiful soul.

"I am honoured to be called her little brother," he said.

He recited a poem he had written in the 1980s when Phil died, which he said his sister loved.

The Thin Lizzy song Philomena, which Phil Lynott wrote for his mother, was played as her coffin was carried out of the church.

There was a round of applause 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.

Ms Lynott faced huge difficulties after giving birth as an unmarried woman in the late 1940s.

After leaving school she moved from Ireland to England to find work, but fell pregnant and gave birth to Phil in 1949.

In 1995 she published her memoir, My Boy, co-written by Jackie Hayden, about her son's life growing up in Manchester and Dublin.

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