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’.”