Ronan O'Gara and his wife Jessica have kept their dignity when all around them -- mainly L'Equipe and The Mail newspapers -- have lost theirs. Still, there must have been times when the phrase "all balls" occurred to the legendary Irish kicker.
In any event, Ronan and Jessica flew to New York last Saturday. The couple spent five days at the Waldorf Astoria on Fifth Avenue.
The hotel -- where Ginger Rogers danced under the stars in the 1945 film Weekend at the Waldorf (not to mention the sojourn of champagne socialist Dick Spring, who preferred it to the Irish-owned Fitzpatrick's while Foreign Minister) was a second home to Irish rugby's most glamorous couple last week.
Jessica was looking more beautiful than ever, strolling down Fifth Avenue on the arm of her husband. They certainly didn't seem like two people in the midst of a troubled marriage. If I was a gambling man, I'd wager they were very much in love and would prefer to get on with their lives without the lies and misinformation emanating out of their home town.
I don't deal in rumour in this column, nor would I ever dream of repeating some of the stories that are said to me as "absolute gospel truth" at balls, beanos and other beautiful social gatherings. I respect Ronan and Jessica -- who were childhood sweethearts before they got married at the Sheraton Fota Island Hotel in Cork last year -- and their right to live their lives without the intrusion of malign rumours. But I feel enough is enough.
A family member close to Ronan and Jessica -- who flew back to Ireland on Thursday morning -- told me: "I'm delighted that they are getting on with their lives. They are well able to get over all this stupid, negative publicity."