Joe Biden gaffe as he blesses Cowen's mum
US vice President Joe Biden was left red-faced after praying for Brian Cowen's late mother — only to discover that she is very much alive.
The Taoiseach's mother May was not among the 500 invited guests at an Irish banquet in the White House on Wednesday but she was very much the centre of attention after Mr Biden asked that “God rest her soul”.
The gaffe was met with a bemused look by the Taoiseach and President Obama before Biden realised his mistake.
“Oh wait, your mom is still alive. It's your dad that passed,” he said, as the room burst into laughter.
“God bless her soul,” he offered by way of a revised tribute.
Biden then cited the Irish proverb that "a silent mouth is sweet to hear" and yielded the podium to the president.