President launches commemorative Phil Lynott coin

The event was held at the former school of the Thin Lizzy frontman in Crumlin, Dublin.
The event was held at the former school of the Thin Lizzy frontman in Crumlin, Dublin.

Ireland’s Central Bank has launched a commemorative coin in honour of Thin Lizzy frontman Phil Lynott.

The coin, in the year which marks what would have been the 70th birthday of the legendary Dublin guitarist, was launched by President Michael D Higgins on Tuesday at Lynott’s former school St Kevin’s College, in Crumlin.

The school band played a medley of Thin Lizzy songs before the President spoke of Lynott’s contribution to Irish music and culture, saying: “Phil Lynott is not likely to be forgotten.”

President Higgins spoke of the importance of creativity and the arts and encouraged students to allow their creativity to move them.

In the crowd were Lynott’s daughters Sarah and Kathleen.

Phil Lynott was born in the West Midlands, England but grew up in Dublin.

After fronting several bands, Lynott formed Thin Lizzy in 1970.

The band first found success with Whiskey In The Jar, followed by several hits in the mid-70s with songs such as The Boys Are Back In Town, Jailbreak, The Rocker and Waiting For An Alibi.

Lynott also enjoyed success as a solo artist with two albums producing the hits Dear Miss Lonelyhearts, King’s Call and Old Town, the music video for the latter showing him walking through the streets of Dublin.

The coin featuring Phil Lynott (Central Bank of Ireland/PA)
The coin featuring Phil Lynott (Central Bank of Ireland/PA)

He died of pneumonia and heart failure linked to his ongoing battle with drug and alcohol abuse in January 1986. He was 36.

The coin was designed by numismatic artist Sandra Deiana and pays tribute to Lynott with a depiction of the frontman in a characteristic pose with his bass guitar.

It is the second coin issued in the three coin series entitled Modern Irish Musicians.

A coin commemorating Rory Gallagher was launched in September 2018 by President Higgins, while next year, a coin commemorating Luke Kelly will be issued.

Central Bank deputy governor Sharon Donnery, who grew up in Crumlin, said the organisation was proud to be issuing the coin to celebrate the musician.

“We are particularly pleased to be launching it in Crumlin: Phil Lynott grew up on Leighlin Road and went to school here at St Kevin’s College,” she said.

“Phil Lynott’s iconic status, his contribution to modern Irish music and the enduring popularity of his music is why the Bank has issued a coin honouring him.”

The 15 euro silver proof coins are limited to 3,000 pieces, and will be available to buy from Wednesday at 10am for 64.99 euro on www.collectorcoins.ie, three coin limit per transaction.

Last month, two one euro stamps, one featuring a portrait of Lynott, and the other showing the cover of his band Thin Lizzy’s Black Rose album, went on sale in Ireland.

The pair of stamps were launched to celebrate the band’s 50th anniversary.

Earlier this month, it was revealed that Thin Lizzy have been nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the United States next year.

Lynott’s mother, Philomena, a Crumlin native, died in June this year.