Damien and Owena Grimes with Alowen, Robyn and Tegan in their specially made jerseys
A COUNTY Limerick man working as a postman in Kilkenny hopes he will delivering commiserations, along with envelopes next week.
Damien Grimes, from Caherconlish but living in Bennettsbridge, has been sporting a green and white flag on his van all week ahead of the U-21 final between the Cats and the Treaty men.
Damien, who is married to Owena, plans to be in Thurles on Saturday. The hurling mad family even has specially made half-Limerick half-Kilkenny jerseys for children Alowen, aged 4; Robyn, 2 and Tegan, 13 months.
“I’m making sure they don’t forget their Limerick roots!” said Damien. And what roots they are.
Damien’s father Joe Grimes hurled with Limerick while uncle Eamonn remains the last Limerick captain to lift the Liam MacCarthy Cup.
In a remarkable coincidence, Owena’s father, John Kinsella, was wing forward in 1973 when Limerick beat Kilkenny in the All-Ireland final so he actually played against Damien’s uncle Eamonn.
After love brought him to the Marble County he joined Bennettsbridge GAA Club and has played with two of Saturday’s Kilkenny team – Sean Morrissey and Jason Cleere.
“I would have hurled ‘inverted commas’ with them a few years ago. I tweeted them best of luck before the semi-final but after the match I said, ‘I can’t talk to you now until Sunday week!,” said Damien. The word on the street is that the men in black and amber are going well.
“They had two closed matches and by all accounts they are flying. They are really up for it. Everyone is saying Kilkenny stole it three years ago in the minor final against Limerick and I think that is sticking in their throats. They want to prove that it wasn’t a once-off – I think that is a big driving factor,” said Damien.
If Limerick do win he will be delighted but not as much as he was to see his brother come home from hospital last week after four months. Eddie, aged 41, was admitted to Beaumont in May. In 2010, doctors only gave him a 50/50 chance of survival as he underwent surgery for a brain tumour but they didn’t factor in his fighting spirit. The tumour came back but Eddie’s strength stood to him again this year.
“He went up to Beaumont on May 5, 2010 and went back up on May 5 this year. The similarity is amazing. I’ve had the world of people asking me how he is – Eddie is fierce popular. He is good, it is recovery now more than anything and we’re all delighted he is home,” said Damien.
Follow the Limerick Leader online and on Twitter for updates from Semple Stadium this afternoon.