01/03/2007

Funeral takes place for ‘Gentleman Jim’

The funeral of Northern Ireland entertainment promoter Jim Aiken has taken place, with hundreds of friends and family attending to pay their final respects.

Mr Aiken’s family; his wife of 47 years Anne, his son Peter and his four daughters Claire, Susan, Cathy and Joan lead mourners for Requiem Mass at St Brigid’s Church in south Belfast.

The 74-year-old died at his home following a short illness. His remains were taken to his hometown of Jonesboro in County Armagh, where he was buried.

A number of stars have paid tribute to the man dubbed as "Gentleman Jim", including Boyzone star Keith Duffy and Michael Flatley.

Former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds also attended the church to pay his repsects. Mr Reynolds, who was also formerly involved in promotions, described him as a “perfect gentleman” and a “true friend.”

“He was a delight to do business with – you couldn’t meet a nicer chap,” he said.

Some of the world’s biggest entertainers have also expressed their sorrow at Mr Aiken’s passing, including The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan.

In a brief statement The Aiken family said they wish to extend thanks to all those who have sent support.

(JM/SP)

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