DCS: philomena lynott

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In post-World War II England, Philomena Lynott found work as a nurse in Manchester. She met and began dating Cecil Parris, a young man from British Guiana. Although their relationship didn’t last long, Philomena discovered she was pregnant after Parris was transferred to London. She moved into a group home for unmarried mothers with her son whom she had named Philip. Though not in the picture, Parris regularly sent a small amount of money to Philomena to help support Philip.

Philomena was subjected to criticism and prejudice from her housemates and other people because of Phillip’s mixed race. She decided to send the infant to live with her parents in Dublin. She only saw Phil sporadically and their relationship was cordial, but not much like mother and son.

In 1964, Philomena purchased the Clifton Grange Hotel in Whalley Range, Manchester with Dennis Keely, a man with whom she was in a new relationship. The hotel became well known as a welcome haven for touring musicians who could not find accommodations at larger, more conservative hotels. One of the bands that frequented the Clifton Grange Hotel was Thin Lizzy, whose lead singer was Phil Lynott. According to guests, Philomena acted like “everyone’s mother.” Brian Robertson, Thin Lizzy’s guitarist, asserted that Philomena insisted on washing his hair before performances.

Philomena and Dennis eventually moved into a house in Dublin — one that was purchased for them by Phil. She and Phil were rebuilding their relationship, but Philomena was unaware of Phil’s extensive and long-term drug abuse. He was discovered unconscious by his mother at his home in December 1985. She was with him when he passed away from sepsis a few weeks later.

After Phil’s death, Philomena fell into a depression, but, after being approached by a publisher to write her memoir, she turned the experience into a reexamination of her and her son’s life. She became active in an effort to erect a bronze statue of Phil Lynott in Dublin — which became a reality in 2005. She spoke out against Presidential candidate Mitt Romney using “The Boys are Back in Town” at his campaign rallies. She was a frequent guest at Thin Lizzy fan events right up until her death in 2019 at the age of 88.



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