Businessman settles case against Jedward

A Limerick businessman has settled, on confidential terms, his High Court action against X Factor contestants Jedward and their parents over an alleged merchandising agreement.

Patrick Joseph Noonan had claimed losses totalling some €625,000, mostly arising from the design and production of Jedward wristbands, jigsaws, board games, and websites, but including €250,000 for loss of opportunity to sell a Jedward board game to another party.

Identical twins John and Edward Grimes, aged 26, from Dublin and known as Jedward, were in court with their estranged parents John Grimes and Susanna Condron when the settlement was announced. The twins wore identical maroon jackets, black tops, and black trousers.

Jedward got to the finals of The X Factor in 2009, represented Ireland twice in the Eurovision, and appeared in Celebrity Big Brother.

As the case was due to enter its second day yesterday, Mr Justice Donald Binchy was told by Desmond Murphy, for the parents and twins, that there had been “substantial developments” overnight and a document required to be scrutinised by the parties.

Mr Murphy and Patrick O’Reilly, for Mr Noonan, asked for time and the judge adjourned the proceedings to noon.

Before noon, before the judge and lawyers re-entered courtroom No 25, the twins came into the near-empty courtroom. As a small number of fans watched from the public gallery, one of the twins spoke into a microphone, announcing: “Jedward has entered the building.”

When the court reassembled soon afterwards, Mr O’Reilly said the case had been compromised on confidential terms between the sides. The judge agreed to adjourn the matter to December 12 to enable the terms be concluded. He congratulated the sides on settling the case and wished everybody well.

Mr Noonan’s case was against the parents, whom he alleged acted as agents for Jedward in a number of meetings from August 2011, and the twins themselves.

The defendants denied the claims. In a preliminary objection, they argued the case was bound to fail because no legal relationship existed between Mr Noonan and them and there was never any intention to create a legal relationship.

A civil engineer with various business interests, Mr Noonan got to meet the Grimes family as a result of knowing John Geehan, a first cousin of the twins’ father, John Grimes Sr, the court heard.

In evidence, he said he first met the twins and their mother at his home in Limerick in August 2011 and, in a memo of that meeting, described them as “lovely lads (hyper)”. His understanding was he would be working for them and would get paid. He spent money personally on the merchandise before two companies were set up and understood he would be paid for what he spent, he said.

Mr O’Reilly said Mr Noonan paid for the items but had not received “one cent” for them and Jedward had not made their “best efforts” to promote the merchandise. His side knew certain items were sold and nothing was remitted to his client, counsel added.


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