Still in love with you: fans welcome Philo back to town
Huge crowd turns out for unveiling of restored statue of Thin Lizzy legend
The boy is back in town: Philomena Lynott with the restored statue of her son Phil on Dublin’s Harry Street. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times
Images released by An Garda in May showing the damaged statue.
Philomena Lynott looks up at the statue of her son after it was restored to its place on Dublin’s Harry Street. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times
Spread the word around. Guess who’s back in town?
Fans and passersby thronged to the site outside Harry Street off Dublin’s Grafton Street, where the statute was re-erected at the spot where it had stood for eight years before it was damaged.
The bronze cast had been knocked over in May by two men and suffered extensive cracks across the waistcoat and back areas.
Two men in their 20s were arrested by gardaí after presenting themselves at Pearse Street Garda station shortly after the incident. They were released without charge and gardaí said a file was to be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.
The damaged bronze was taken away to the Cast Foundry in South Brown Street to be recast. The recasting cost €3,500 and was paid for by an anonymous benefactor.
Ms Lynott thanked Thin Lizzy fans for their help in getting the statue back to where it belonged.
The Thin Lizzy star, who died aged 36 in 1986 after years of drug abuse, would have turned 64 next week.
Ms Lynott reiterated her warning to young people not to succumb to drugs as her son had done, saying she had visited prisons where people were serving time for drug offences and told them they were “mugs”.
“Young people, when they get involved in drugs, they think it makes them laugh, it makes them happy, it makes them this, that and the other,” she said.
“But they don’t realise that they’re getting hooked and they’re getting hooked deeper. And all of a sudden, they can’t do without them and that’s when all the villainy starts.”
Welcoming the return of the landmark statue, MS Lynott said her son would have forgiven the culprits and that she held no grudge against them.
She said they later apologised, adding they did not mean to vandalise the statue and that they were “drunk, frolicking”.
“Well we’ve all got drunk and we’ve all frolicked, haven’t we, God almighty?” she said. “I would hate to remember my past.”
She said the statue’s return was timely and that it belonged to his legions of fans across the world.
Dublin City Council has set the work in more secure foundations so it will not get knocked over again.
The council’s public art manager Ruairi Ó Cuív said the outcry when the statute was damaged demonstrated how much it was loved by the people of Dublin.
“The statue reflects the person. His talent and his charisma were so enormous. His music is still alive. There is a relevance to his music,” he said. “The work was painstaking and highly technical. It was with the foundry for several months.”
The statue, which was erected in 2005 as a tribute to the star and his mother, was commissioned by the Roisín Dubh Trust, which commemorates the musician’s work, and sculpted by Paul Daly.
Additional reporting: PA