RUGBY star Ronan O’Gara was last night celebrating the birth of twins with his wife Jessica.
Adding the extra two never felt so sweet for the Munster and Ireland playmaker, who was yesterday inundated with messages of goodwill from fans.
Just last week he was launching his autobiography, speaking of the pain of Ireland’s disappointing World Cup last year and the rumours that dogged his marriage.
Now it is time for another chapter in the player’s life as he becomes a father for the first time.
Jessica gave birth to the baby boy and girl on Saturday afternoon, timing it to perfection as O’Gara had a rare weekend off following Munster’s slim win over French side Mountauban in the Heineken Cup, on Friday night.
The Cork couple, pictured, who shy away from the limelight, were said to be delighted with the new additions to the family. O’Gara was at his wife’s bedside at Cork University Maternity Hospital yesterday, where family and friends called in to visit.
Both mother and babies were said to be doing well. Jessica’s father is well-known Cork businessman Dominic Daly, who has been on tenterhooks waiting for his grandchildren to arrive. He previously said he was “thrilled and delighted” at the prospect of new babies in the family.
O’Gara and Jessica, a 30-yearold primary school teacher, are long-time sweethearts who tied the knot two years ago in July 2006.
But during last year’s World Cup, O’Gara was dogged by unsubstantiated rumours.
Promoting his new autobiography last week, he said: “Jess was upset but she has been very strong. After a while she just became sick of them, but there was nothing we could do about it . . . I wouldn’t be singing from the rooftops about my marriage, I’m a very private person in that regards. I’ve known Jess since I was 10 or 12 years of age and herself and I are extremely happy.”
He also said he has put the days when he did “too much” gambling behind him.
“It’s only in hindsight that I feel I did do a bit too much.
There was never a point that I said ‘I’ve got to stop here’ but looking back, there were times when I was too keen to get home after training and watch racing.”
Book signings scheduled for early this week are being rearranged so that O’Gara can enjoy time with his family.
News of the arrivals broke on an online Munster forum, where the province’s famous fans share the latest information on their favourite players.
One fan wrote: “Twas a boy and a girl that was had. They’ll want for nothing, no doubt.”