Comedian Chris O’Dowd was in his native county yesterday as he was bestowed with the Freedom of Roscommon, joking that he never realised he had been enslaved by it.
The Bridesmaids star’s speech was lauded for its emotion and humour in which he said that his yet-to-be-born child, pregnant wife Dawn O’Porter who is due in the new year accompanied him, will be taught all about the area.
“What will I tell my son or daughter when it slips gracefully from its mother’s womb?” he said.
“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. I love it. Not because it’s privileged but because it’s real.”
He went on to list the many notable Roscommon natives from times gone by such as John Reilly, Margaret Gillespie, Maureen O’Sullivan and John Carty before praising his parents.
“Roscommon is not a satellite town for Dublin commuters. It’s home. And if that doesn’t work, I’ll simply tell him to blame his grandparents.”
Born in Boyle, the actor was a keen GAA player and represented his county at under-16, minor and under-21 level, the highlight being his performance as a goalkeeper in the 1997 Connacht Minor final against Mayo.
After studying at University College Dublin, he later moved to London where he joined West London’s Garryowen football club.
Wife O’Porter accompanied him on his trip to Ireland, tweeting her pride at his speech, before revealing her newfound obsession with the local culinary delight – boxty! – and filling her followers in on the contents of the potato treat.