by: Kathleen Moran
A commemorative silver coin marking 70 years since rock artist Phil Lynott was born was launched by the Central Bank and unveiled by President Michael D. Higgins on November 26th. The launch took place in St. Kevin’s College, Crumlin, Dublin – the school Lynott attended in his youth.
Every student and staff member, as well as members of the Lynott family, assembled in the Sports Centre to hear the St. Kevin’s College Brass Band (ably led on trombone by St. Kevin’s JCSP Librarian, Neil Kettles) perform a medley of Thin Lizzy songs, and listen to a fascinating address from President Michael D. Higgins.
Speaking at the launch, President Higgins said Lynott was “not likely to be forgotten,” and that it was “a very great loss” for him to die at the age of 36.
President Higgins added it was “very important that we not only protect the right to perform but the space to perform”. The President spoke of the creativity of Irish young people and of the importance of performance in their lives. This is something that we fully support through our JCSP Libraries.
Sharon Donnery, deputy governor of the Central Bank, spoke of Phil Lynott’s iconic status, his contribution to modern Irish music and the enduring popularity of his music.
The President, together with the Lynott family, guests from Educate Together, CDETB and other organizations were then invited to the newly named “Lynott Library” to view Phil’s original attendance register.
Students from St. Kevin’s College presented the President with a copy of ‘We Write What We Like’, an anthology of poetry written by students from across CDETB schools working with Writer-in-Residence Kevin Mc Dermott and published by the JCSP Demonstration Library Project. The President’s copy was signed by the St. Kevin’s students who contributed to it.
St. Kevin’s received one of the newly minted coins, and a signed book by Jim Fitzpatrick, who created the Thin Lizzy album art, both of which will be proudly displayed in the main hall. Coins were also presented to Phil Lynott’s daughters and son.
Lesley Byrne, St. Kevin’s College Principal, emphasised the central role the JCSP Library plays in the school. She specifically mentioned the brass band, noting that the “Lynott Library” has never been a space where you can expect to be shushed!
Congratulations to all involved in organising this wonderful event. Wishing our JCSP Librarian in St. Kevin’s College, Neil Kettles, the very best of luck in his new ‘Lynott Library’ where we have no doubt that music and the arts will, from now on, play an even greater part in students’ lives.
The future at St. Kevin’s is loud!