Philomena Lynott funeral: U2 pay tribute as mother of Thin Lizzy frontman Phil Lynott laid to rest in Dublin
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Philomena Lynott funeral: U2 pay tribute as mother of Thin Lizzy frontman Phil Lynott laid to rest in Dublin

THE funeral of Philomena Lynott, mother of the late Thin Lizzy frontman Phil Lynott, has taken place in Dublin.

The Crumlin woman, who passed away from lung cancer last Wednesday at the age of 88, was laid to rest this afternoon following a service at St Fintan's Church in Sutton.

U2 were among those paying tribute to Philomena, with a floral wreath signed: "Bono, The Edge, Larry and Adam".

The funeral service itself was broadcast on St Fintan's website before mourners moved to the parish cemetery for her burial.

'A beautiful soul'

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In his eulogy, Philomena's brother Peter Lynott said she was the kind of person who always "saw the beauty in others".

He added: "This is by far one of the hardest things I have ever had to do... when I sat down to write this tribute there was so many beautiful things I wanted to say and didn't know where to star.

"She was a beautiful soul. She saw the beauty in others. Her presence has blessed our lives, we are all better to have known her.

"Today reminds me not to feel sorrow for her death, but to feel grateful that her presence had graced our lives.

"In 1986, when Philip died, we were back in Glencor and I sneaked away and went into his music room. I penned a little poem, my sister loved it. It's not goodbye Philomena, it's au revoir."

Phil's untimely death aged just 36 in 1986 left his mother devastated (Image: File)
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Fr Bryan Shortall, a longtime friend of Philomena, remembered her love for son Phil as he delivered his sermon.

"When Philip died, Philomena was heartbroken," he said.

"Philomena devoted herself to visiting his grave and tending the flowers there. Now, of course, Irish mammies are best placed to administer tough love. They want the best for their kids.

"She always had time for the fans and so many felt comfortable coming up the driveway... and all were welcome

"She will keep a good eye on him now. He’s watched her all these years. Now she see'll him again, and what a reunion it must be."

Mother of a legend

Philomena was working as a nurse in England when she gave birth to iconic rocker Philip in West Bromwich on August 20, 1949. She was just 18 at the time.

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Philip's father, Cecil Parris, was originally from Guyana and had been in a short relationship with Philomena the previous year before leaving for London.

After her son was born, Philomena moved with him to a home for unmarried mothers in southwest Birmingham – where he was baptised on September 4, 1949. She subsequently moved to Manchester but stayed in touch with Cecil, who helped pay towards his son's support.

After suffering racial prejudice in England because Philip was mixed race, she later decided it would be best for the schoolboy to be raised by her parents Frank and Sarah Lynott in Dublin.

Philomena stayed in Manchester but remained close to her son throughout his life, feeling they were more like sister and brother or best friends rather than having a conventional mother and son relationship.

Philomena with a young Philip in Manchester before he moved to Crumlin, Dublin (Image: File)

Phil had a happy childhood growing up in Crumlin and was a popular character at school, which relieved Philomena after the racial prejudice they suffered in the UK.

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She later gave birth to two other children – Philomena (born March 1951) and Leslie (born June 1952) – who she had to give up for adoption.

Philomena only revealed the full story behind her two adoptions in the second edition of her autobiography My Boy, which was published in 2011.

The book, written with Jackie Hayden, was a two-time No.1 best seller and told her extraordinary life story – including how she dealt with Phil's untimely death aged just 36 on January 4, 1986 from pneumonia and heart failure caused by septicaemia in the wake of his drug and alcohol dependency.

In her later years, Philomena campaigned to keep her son's legacy alive and was successful in her bid to have a now iconic statue of Phil erected on Harry Street in Dublin city centre.

Her son remains one of the most recognisable names in the history of rock music, with Thin Lizzy hits such as Whiskey in the Jar, The Boys Are Back in Town and Jailbreak true classics in the genre.