Philomena Lynott has finally brought daughter Philomena, 60, and son Leslie, 58, into the limelight, after giving them up for adoption at birth then reconnecting with them decades ago. And she says she always wanted to tell of her hidden family – but the pressure of being an unmarried mother to Lynott was already a massive challenge. Philomena tells the Irish Times: “I don’t walk around ashamed any more that I had two other children. When I lost Philip I thought that was the end. But now I have these two wonderful people loving me.”
Lynott, who died in 1986, would have been 62 in August this year, making him the eldest brother of his secret siblings. While he grew up in Ireland and eventually formed Thin Lizzy, his sister became a village teacher and his brother is a lighting consultant in England. Philomena Jr had made contact with her birth mum in the 1980s while Leslie got in touch in the 1990s. Philomena Sr waited for her own mother and her daughter’s adoptive mother to die before announcing the childrens’ existence.
The proud parent explains: “I didn’t want my mother to know I had two more children – it was bad enough having Philip. I was thrown into a workhouse and spat at because I had a black baby. “But I cared for Mother until the end of her days, and that’s why I can now tell the second part of my story. “My daughter lives a very solid village life and looks after everyone. My son is just something else. We all love one another. It’s a very happy reunion.”
And she says there was never a time when they weren’t on her mind: “When it was their birthdays, it didn’t matter where I was – in a theatre, in top society, it didn’t matter. I’d go into another room and go, ‘Where are they? Are they being treated right? Has life been good to them? Are they dead?’ I never thought I’d see them again.”
Philomena became pregnant to Lynott’s father, Cecil Parris, in 1948, but the couple never married and soon separated. The musician met his dad once he was famous but their relationship crumbled over Lynott’s drug use, and Parris wasn’t invited to his son’s funeral.