10 Things You Never Knew About Philomena Lynott

She's Phil's famous mammy, and she's got a secret or two up her sleeve. We're discovering a decade of 'em here.


Mother to one of Ireland’s best known musicians, Thin Lizzy frontman Phil Lynott, Philomena Lynott’s lived a life less ordinary. Here are 10 things you just might not know about her.

1 She comes from a long line of long-lived women

Philomena’s mother lived until she was 93 and she says it’s “rocking out,” that keeps her young. “I have had great innings. I will not give in to old age,” she insists. Proper order.

2 She’s 83 – but she doesn’t feel it

“I’d go for 65,” she told VIP back in May 2014.

3 She still rocks out…

“I still love rock music. I go to all the rock concerts ­ Jon Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen, Metallica. One of the guys from Status Quo used to stay at my hotel in Manchester years ago and he ended up being a great friend of Philip’s.”

4 …Though she’s not so keen on some of Lizzy’s output

“I loved Whiskey in The Jar, Sarah, Dancing in the Moonlight, but then one night I heard this noise, and I thought, ‘my head’! Some of Lizzy’s heavy stuff – no, no, no! No wonder I have tinnitus!”

5 She opens rock festivals

In 2002, Philomena flew to Scandinavia to open the Swedish Rock Festival. “An old granny like me,” she marvels. “But because I am Philip Lynott’s mother I am held in such high regard.”

6 She hangs out in Lillies… and there’s more

The last time Philomena was in Dublin’s famous VIP haunt? “I was made an honorary member!”

7 Phil wasn’t her only child

Philomena is famous for speaking out about the racial prejudice Phil suffered as a child in 1950s Catholic Ireland. But what you may not know is that he wasn’t her only child; she gave two more up for adoption following his birth. “I had hidden them from the world because to have one child out of wedlock is bad, but three? I was the fallen woman, the sinner. So, I waited till my mum had passed away, because I didn’t want her to think I was going from one man to another over there in England. I also needed to tell the truth, for my children’s sake. And now we are in contact all the time.”

8 She never married her partner of 50 years

Her life partner, Dennis Kealy, died in 2010 after a long illness, and she’s calm and reflective about it. “Dennis was 78. I was expecting his death. We nursed him for years before he died from cancer and to see him deteriorate was awful. Because he’d had a good innings and no longer had to suffer, the grief was not as heavy. And that’s it.”

9 She’s got a signature scent

You’ll be hard-pressed to find it now: it’s Bourjois’ Evening in Paris perfume and Phil always brought her a bottle back when he went away.

10 Designer duds are Philomena’s fave

“I like to wear lace pieces by a designer called Ann Balon. I do like to look well,” she says. I want people to say, ‘Look, that’s Philip Lynott’s mother, she keeps herself well’.”


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