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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: April 8, 2011 @ 3:27 pm

    Phil Lynott’s Politics

    Deaglán de Bréadún

    Actually, I have no idea what Philo’s politics were, this is just an excuse to recommend a visit to the exhibition in his honour currently running at the Stephen’s Green shopping centre: http://www.hotpress.com/philiplynott/info.html

    Though not wishing to appear too Methuselah-like, I do recall Phil at a young performer in the “beat” clubs of Dublin in my youth. Even then, his talent was obvious. He was a rare phenomenon at that time: a black Irishman. I recall being told that he would “bate ya up” if you crossed him, which I imagine was a defence mechanism against any racism he may have encountered at the time.

    He was also highly-intelligent and a rare musical talent, as you can see from the video/film footage in this not-to-be-missed show. Sadly, it seems the rock lifestyle got to him in the end. Last time I saw him alive was in the Grafton Street area and it is nice to see such a fine statue there now: a real Dublin icon.

    There is a particularly moving picture of the young Phil with an unnamed adult woman who must be his mother. Raising a black child at that time in a working-class area of Dublin must have been a serious challenge and she should be proud that he turned out to be such a huge success on the musical stage.

    It’s great, but also a little sad,  to see Gary Moore in the show: this great guitarist and blues singer passed away very recently.  Now, forget Fine Gael, FF, SF, the Greens and the Independents – take time out to visit this display before it ends.


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