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Dublin: 10 °C Tuesday 22 October, 2019

President Higgins leads tributes following death of Philomena Lynott

She had been battling cancer for a number of years, and has died aged 88.

Philomena Lynott at the unveiling of her son's statue in 2005.
Philomena Lynott at the unveiling of her son's statue in 2005.
Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

PRESIDENT MICHAEL D Higgins has led tributes to Philomena Lynott, the mother of late Thin Lizzy frontman Phil Lynott, who has died aged 88. 

She had been battling cancer for a number of years. It is believed she passed away overnight.

Born in October 1930, her memoir My Boy about Phil became a bestseller and she later continued to commemorate her son at events, unveiling a statue of him on Dublin’s Harry Street in 2005. 

Her son, best known as rock band Thin Lizzy’s frontman, died in 1986 aged 36.

“It is with great sadness that I have learned of the death of Philomena Lynott, campaigner, author and mother of the late Thin Lizzy frontman Phil Lynott,” President Higgins said in a statement. 

“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.

“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.

“It was a privilege to have met Philomena and to share parts of her life’s journey.

“She will be missed not only most acutely by her family and friends, but also by the many who have admired her strength of character.”

Hot Press editor Niall Stokes also paid tribute today saying Philomena was “a formidable and brilliant woman”. 

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.”

At the weekend, American band Metallica paid tribute to Philomena’s son, by playing Whiskey in the Jar at Slane Castle. 

“We love you Phil,” frontman James Hetfield said in tribute to the late singer and bassist. The Metallica singer also posted a picture of himself alongside the Phil Lynott statue on social media.

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