The funeral of Philomena Lynott, the mother of late Thin Lizzy frontman Phil Lynott, took place in Dublin on Monday afternoon.
Philomena passed away aged 88 last Wednesday after battling cancer for a number of years. Her funeral mass took place this afternoon at St Fintan’s Church on Greenfield Road, near in home in Sutton.
Her brother Peter was among the mourners and paying tribute to his late sister, he said: "None of us have had easy lives by any means, but this, by far, is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do."
He added that Philomena always "saw the beauty in others". "[Today] reminds me not to feel sorrow for her death but to feel grateful that her presence had graced our lives," he said.
Philomena came to national prominence when she published her book My Boy, which was co-written with music industry figure Jackie Hayden. It was a No 1 bestseller on two occasions and told her extraordinary life story.
She departed Dublin to work in England after leaving school, but her plans were forever changed when she became pregnant with Phil, whose father was Cecil Parris, from Guyana. Phil came to Dublin while still a young boy and went on to become one of Ireland's most revered songwriters and musicians as front man of Thin Lizzy.
He died aged 36 in 1986.
Music journalist and longtime friend of Phil Lynott, BP Fallon, was also among the mourners as Philomena was laid to rest, while U2 sent a wreath to the church.
Paying tribute to Philomena, a friend said she was an "absolutely formidable woman". "Life was never boring when Philomena was around. She had an amazing ability to tell a story,"
"She was amazing. I’d like you all to maybe remember today some of the funnier stories. We’ve a lot to pick from.
"She wasn’t perfect, nobody was, but for us she was a very close friend. I will miss her dearly. Life will not be the same without her. Philomena, my friend, for everything, thank you."
Speaking at the funeral mass, the local priest in Sutton spoke of Philomena’s deep love for her son Phil Lynott. "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," he added.
Philomena wasn’t afraid to tell us that she was crushed and hurt when Philip died a young man.
Philomena’s strong bond with Thin Lizzy fans was also mentioned. "She always had time for the fans and so many felt comfortable coming up the driveway … and all were welcome," he said.
Philomena was laid to rest in St Fintan’s Cemetery in Sutton, where her son Phil is also buried.