O'Dowd, being typically meticulous about things, had done a fair bit of research regarding his home country, proper order considering he can now officially let any lambs he has on his person graze anywhere they spot a bit of Roscommon grass that takes their fancy (or whatever Bono and Edge did that time in Stephens' Green).

So, what did he learn during his research? That the good people of Roscommon live longer than the rest of us... During his speech at Boyle's King House last night, he said: "I know Everybody is surprised. I like to think it is because Roscommon people have more to live for but it is probably because without an A&E Department we are too afraid to die... It’s a joke. What we lack in clean water we make up for in dirty jokes."

Addressing local politicians cringing up a storm, O'Dowd added: "I know councillors... I know... It's nobody’s fault.”

Along with the jovial jibes, there was a lot of emotion too: "What will I tell my son or daughter when it slips gracefully from its mother's womb? I will tell her how lucky her dad was to be from Boyle. I will tell her that in an ever changing Ireland, Roscommon has stayed true to itself. When I lose the run of myself, Roscommon stays put... Roscommon is not a rich man's weekend getaway, it's a breeding ground for artists and entertainers like John Reilly, Maureen O'Sullivan and John Carty. It's not a community built on the wings of a foreign computer company. It's a refuge for writers and scholars like John McGahern, Brian Leyden and Douglas Hyde. Roscommon is not a destination for stag nights. It's the birthplace of Margaret Gillespie, one of the greatest women of the suffragette movement. Roscommon is not a satellite town for Dublin commuters. It’s home."

I know, he initially said "son or daughter", but they're TOTALLY having a girl.

Via Twitter / The Independent