Gerard and Derval's Wedding Friday 11th April 2003

Good evening everyone, I'd just like to start off by saying I can't believe I have the opportunity to slag Gerard off in public, and let me tell you I'm going to make the most of it. I've got some pretty juicy stories here! But more about that later, I'll have to make sure I've got a clear run for the door!

I hope you.re all having a good time, enjoying the fantastic hospitality we.ve had today, and what will be the very last bit of sense you.ll get out of me tonight. For those of you that don.t know me, I'm Alex . the best man, and I've known Gerard for twelve years, which considering he hasn't hit puberty yet, is pretty good going.

I know some of you who have spent more than five minutes with the Groom must be worried about any rudeness or vulgarity contained within this speech. Let me assure you that I am the last person here that would publicly stoop to sexual innuendo for a few cheap laughs. I promised Gerard myself, that if there was even a hint of anything risqué going on, I'd immediately whip it out.

Now, there are some things that everyone knows about Gerard. I'm still saving up the other things! To sum him up in one sentence; bad jokes (especially the ones that are made up on the spot after whisky), intelligence and ability to the point of being annoying, wind, Super Noodles, and an ability to be cheeky where no-one else could get away with it. Strangely, Derval doesn.t seem to notice!

I met Gerard in college and the first thing I learned about him was, Gerard is Always Right. He proved this straight away, when I called him Gerald. He continues today to be pedantic, whether arguing about whether a banana is a herb or a fruit, how a phone call is made or the collective noun for owls. An email often follows three weeks later with comprehensive evidence, mathematical proof and witness testimony confirming that there was never any chance he was in error. It's easier to just agree at the time.

His career began in Dublin city, where we used to meet up after work and he endeared himself to my female colleagues by spitting ice cubes down their tops and getting me thrown out. It was on a night not unlike this, that I helped him slowly down Harcourt Street after three pints of Carlsberg, looking for a classy place for a quiet pint. If memory serves me correctly, at the time we were pretending to be a professional fighter pilot and a doctor . a slight stretch of the truth - and by the time we talked our way into Copper Face Jacks we were feeling quite sociable. We mingled. Starting by electrifying the dance floor with his .drop to one knee. move . a real crowd pleaser, we engaged the assembled ladies with intelligent, witty anecdotes about adventures in the air and operating theatre. Though some of our audience weren.t very bright and wouldn.t have recognized a fighter pilot if one had sat down next to them, there was a table with smart, perceptive ladies who appreciated some intelligent conversation. And we wouldn.t be here today if one of them hadn.t appreciated Gerard.s conversation as well.

I would like to have finished off with some of Gerard.s classic jokes, but they all have the same punch line, so one will do. It's in the form of a knock-knock joke and sums up a reflective, reserved and introspective mind. Who's there? Imap. Imap who?

If you never heard that one before, you.re at the wrong wedding, please collect your coat at the door as you.re leaving. And if you have, please don.t buy Gerry a Jameson or you.ll probably hear some of his other work, which has matured from comedy to a new novel which is taut with tension, and also a wonderful song, which explores just one aspect of biology, and ends with an ironic twist.

In closing I'd like to say a very big thank you to Mrs. McDonnell, Mr. McDonnell and Mrs. O.Rourke. They have provided us with a fantastic pair of people; excellent company, superb hosts, great friends and made for each other. May they always get something straight between them. A toast then, to the parents of the Bridge and Groom.

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