POP STARS ‘Jedward’ will visit Limerick this week to attend the funeral of their grandfather James.
John and Edward Grimes were described by a family friend as being “very close” to their grandfather Jim, who lived in Mayorstone Park and passed away peacefully in a nursing home in Clarina this Monday at the age of 88.
The Eurovision-bound popstars, who became a household name after appearing on the X-Factor three years ago, have strong ties to Limerick and have visited regularly, speaking of their deep connection to the city on several occasions.
The twins’ Dad John grew up in Mayorstone and grand-uncle Vincent Feeney served as mayor of the city in 1965-66.
“We love coming to Limerick, our Dad’s from Limerick, so that is really cool. We usually get to meet up with our family and say hi,” Edward Grimes told the Leader last year.
“The last time we were in Limerick we were just normal guys; now we are John and Edward, and we can’t walk down the street without people recognising us, but before this, no-one would have known us,” Edward added.
The twins attended the funeral of their grandfather’s second wife Emily in March last year - the sister of his first wife Margaret, the twins’ maternal grandmother.
Mr Grimes is survived by daughters Miriam O’Kelly, Breda Wilkins, Lucia Barnes, Bernadette Fallon, Marguerite Lodge, Colette and his son John, the twins’ father.
Fine Gael councillor Cormac Hurley, who knew Mr Grimes, said he was a “lovely man” who attended regular Mass up until recently in Christ the King church in Caherdavin.
“I got to know him quite well, he was a lovely man,” explained Cllr Hurley. “It was only latterly I got to know him and then of course I heard about Jedward and couldn’t believe it, because he was a very sober, sombre individual. He was a great character, a marvellous character, and he was a fixture at the back of the church there every morning for years.”
John and Edward are currently gearing up for their second tilt at Eurovision glory, having narrowly missed on success in Germany last year.
Local girl Leanne Moore, who accompanied the duo as a backing singer at the Eurovision and will do so again this May, returned from Germany as a “huge fan” of the duo, who secured an eighth place finish in the competition.
“They are what people see; they are always hyper, always full of energy,” said Leanne.
Jim Grimes will repose in Griffin’s Funeral Home this Thursday from 5pm, with a funeral on Friday in St Munchin’s Church at 11am.