The Statue Unveiling 2005

“……And I keep on remembering the old days
I keep on remembering the old ways….”

Following years of campaigning the statue of Philip Parris Lynott was finally unveiled on Friday 19th August 2005 in the company of Philomena and former members of Thin Lizzy, Darren Wharton, Eric Bell, Gary Moore, Brian Downey,  Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson


The last unveiling meeting between the Trust and Dublin City Councilors took place Cafe Bruxelles. Last minute details were discussed: transporting the statue from Cast Foundry to Harry Street, whether to attach the plinth to the statue at the foundry or at the time of setting on Harry Street; confirmations from Gardai (police) and Dublin City Council; how to cover and protect the statue until the unveiling. Paparazzi were swarming around trying to get information and exclusive photographs.

Out in Howth, at Whitehorses, Philomena’s home, non-stop phone calls and last minute work consumes every waking moment. Media companies worldwide want to speak to Philomena, arrange photo shoots, TV, radio and magazine interviews. Two TV companies are already at Whitehorses. Nerves are setting in, sleep is fleeting, emotions are running high with obstacles still unresolved.


Tom Glendon, the stonemason, arrives at Cast Foundry. The statue is attached to the plinth before being transported to Harry street for setting onto the reinforced pavement in readiness for the celebrations of the following day. Already a huge crowd has arrived to await the statues arrival. Not much to see though as the statue is covered by a veil and a very sturdy wooden surround. A vigil continues through the night, with Cafe Bruxelles providing much needed coffee and food. Pearce Street Garda Station directs a CCTV camera on to Harry street, relaying the amazing scenes that were unfolding to local Garda stations.

Bruxelles in Harry Street, Dublin


Following five years of hard work and campaigning the day of the unveiling finally arrives !


The area around Harry Street is thronged with supporters, Dubliners and tourists who have no clue of what was happening but staying to find out, TV and radio crews, photographers and VIPs. All vantage points are secured.

The designated enclosure around the statue fills with invited guests, members of the Trust, Dublin’s Mayor, Councilors involved with the project. Names like Smiley Bolger, Jim Fitzpatrick, Brush Sheils, Chris Tsangarides, and former members of Thin Lizzy,Eric Bell, Brian Downey, Scott Gorham, Gary Moore, Brian Robertson and Darren Wharton.

The management and staff of Bruxelles, all wearing commemorative t-shirts are welcoming, accommodating and are enjoying the unfolding events. The sun begins to shine!

The atmosphere is building all day culminating with the vista of 6000 supporters from all corners of the world and from all walks of life congregating to witness this important occasion.


The final moments before the unveiling. Speeches from Cllr. Jack Gilligan and Dublin’s mayor. An emotional Philomena steps up to talk. Overcome and struggling to speak at times she managed to thank all who helped and supported the Trust project. Audrey O’Neill, the Trust secretary, gave a short but heartfelt talk to tell everyone that the statue was for them and to enjoy every moment.


The box surrounding the statue is theatrically dismantled by a council worker who relishes every moment as much as the assembled crowd . As each screw is removed a huge cheer reverberates around Harry Street and Grafton Street.  The atmosphere is palpable.


Philomena tugged on the the string that was to bring down the curtain on a five year long campaign to see her son finally honoured in  Dublin. As she pulled she also tugged on the heart strings of the 4,000 people who had gathered in Harry street in the sunshine and the many thousands across the globe who were there in spirit.

The thin veil falls to the ground……


To the strains of “Still In Love With You” the assembled  audience take in the significance of the moment they have just witnessed.

A fan is allowed into the VIP area having handed a VIP a bunch of flowers to place at the statue on his behalf. The VIP was so impressed by this show of loyalty, he ushered the fan in who then met Philomena and had photographs taken.

An English fan relates the story of going to the toilets in Cafe Bruxelles. Lined up at the urinals are three men from Denmark. Within moments all four men launch into a rousing rendition of ‘Dancing In The Moonlight’ !


The barriers are removed and the fans and supporters surge toward the statue anxious to get photographs and to see the statue close up. The scene continues well into the early hours of Saturday morning 20th August, Philip’s birthday.

Later that evening (19th), at a private function in Liberty Hall both Audrey O’Neill and Graham Cohen were each presented with Penrose Crystal plates to mark the achievement.

Philomena was presented with a ‘John Rocha’ Waterford crystal piece. Presentations were made by Roddie Cleere, compare for the evening. A wonderful and memorable day was capped off with a Thin Lizzy set from re-formed Irish Thin Lizzy tribute band ‘Thin Az Lizzy’ along with special guest John ‘Irish’ Earle on saxophone

For four days after the unveiling, a steady stream of people pay homage to Philip and visit the statue.

Supporters place plectrums on the bronze bass and lay flowers on the plinth.

Thousands of photographs, admiring glances from passers by as if Philip himself were standing on Grafton street once more…………………….



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