IRISH rugby giant Paul O'Connell was last night tenderly holding his most precious possession of all after his girlfriend gave birth to a baby boy.
The popular Lions and Munster captain and architect Emily O'Leary are said to be thrilled with their new arrival.
The baby arrived into the world just before midnight on Thursday at the Mid-Western Regional Maternity in Limerick. Blessed with the good genes from both parents, young O'Connell weighed in at a healthy 7lbs 10 ounces.
Both mum and baby are said to be doing fine.
Earlier this year, while appearing on the 'Late Late Show' as a guest, the rugby star announced that his girlfriend, from Mungret, Co Limerick, was pregnant.
Family and friends visited the trio at the northside Limerick hospital throughout yesterday.
Munster rugby fans will be hoping that O'Connell does not have many sleepless nights over the coming weeks. Last week, he missed out on their Heineken Cup victory over Northampton due to an ongoing groin injury.
Over the upcoming May bank holiday weekend, up to 10,000 Munster supporters are expected to travel to San Sebastian for the Heineken Cup semi-final against Biarittz.
In the meantime, Paul and Emily will be busy making adjustments to family life in Limerick with their newborn.