VISIT THE PHIL LYNOTT STATUE GALLERY
Statue of Thin Lizzy frontman unveiled to 5,000 fans
By Fiona Gartland (IRISH TIMES - AUGUST 20, 2005)
Almost 5,000 Phil Lynott fans turned out in Dublin's Grafton Street yesterday evening for the unveiling of a statue of the lead singer of the rock band Thin Lizzy. The life size bronze, by Paul Daly, was unveiled by Lynott's mother Philomena at a moving ceremony attended by former band members and friends of the rocker, as well as fans from all over the world.
They hung from the windows of the Westbury Hotel and from upstairs in Bruxelles Bar in Harry Street, waiting for the unveiling and the first glimpse of 'Philo'. Dancing In The Moonlight blasted out and 150 invited guests clutched their drinks and stood inside the barrier around the statue, which was draped in a black wrap.
The threatened rain held off as Lord Mayor Catherine Byrne told the enthusiastic and occasionally heckling crowd that her favourite song was Whiskey In The Jar, and thanked Philomena Lynott for giving the city 'her wonderful son'. When the moment finally arrived for the unveiling, a roar went up from the crowd and Ms. Lynott drew back the sheet and revealed the bronze Philo leaning on a guitar, upturned collar, necktie flapping, hooped earring glistening in the evenig light.
Smiley Bolger, a friend of Lynott's and a member of an earlier band, Skid Row, said the rocker would have loved the swagger. 'This was his strut, all around here. I'm very glad they've done this, it's very nice but it would be nicer if he was here. I miss him a lot,' he said.
The boy is back... and still drawing crowds.
Shane Hickey (IRISH INDEPENDENT - AUGUST 20, 2005
Almost 20 years after his death, Phil Lynott can still jam the streets of Dublin. The fans thronged the pavements, hung out of balconies and lamp-posts yesterday as a bronze statue to one of the country's most famous rockers was unveiled. Thousands jammed the streets around Bruxelles pub off Dublin's Grafton Street for the first look at the bronze statue of the man known simply as Philo. And while some of the tattoos may be fading and the pony-tails greying, there was no lack of dedication from the throng there to pay homage. On the balconies of McDaid's, Bruxelles and the Westbury Hotel, fans looked down as Phil's mother Philomena unveiled the statue by sculptor Paul Daly.
It was the culmination of years of work for fans of Phil and his band Thin Lizzy who raised funds to have the statue erected. 'I would especially like to thank all the fans who 20 years ago started to write to me telling me how inspired they were by Phil,' said Ms. Lynott.
The statue was commissioned by the Roisin Dubh Trust which was set up to commemorate the life and work of the singer. When the moment finally came to unveil the memorial, a thundering cheer echoed through the narrow corridors of Grafton Street.
Flanking Ms. Lynott were her sons bandmates Scott Gorham, Gary Moore, Darren Wharton, Brian Robertson and Brian Downey.
Almost 20 years after his death on January 4th 1986, a life-sized statue of Phil will now look across Grafton Street and down South Anne Street, positioned outside Bruxelles. The Roisin Dubh Trust approached Dublin County Council in January 2000 to have a statue erected with plans finally approved in February 2001. Sam Sanbrook, sporting a tattoo of his idol on his back, said the visit to Dublin equated to a pilgrimage. 'We travelled here from Sheffield esp;ecially for this. I've been following Lizzy since the 1970s,' said Sam who was with his wife Jenny.
Ms. Lynott thanked all of the fans who organised concerts around the world. With her were veteran rockers Smiley Bolger and Brush Shiels and Lord Mayor Catherine Byrne.