ON May 22, 2015 the Irish people, no strangers to a referendum, voted on whether to legalise same-sex marriage.
For months in the lead up to vote, there was little talk of anything else at home.
The Yes campaign was overwhelmingly positive and social-media led. Their message was simple – equal rights for every one of Ireland’s citizens. This referendum, they argued, was a chance for Ireland to show the world how far it had come.
The No side put forward an argument based on the family – arguing that allowing same-sex couples to marry would threaten or devalue ‘normal’ families. Campaign posters that said ‘every child deserves a mother and a father’, failed to resonate with some of the estimated 215,000 one-parent families in Ireland.
With a healthy turnout of just over 60 per cent, the Yes campaign got the result they wanted with 62 per cent of voters supporting same-sex marriage.
As the results came in, the streets of Dublin came alive and Ireland became the first country in the world to approve gay marriage by popular vote.
Since the Marriage Act was signed into law last November, there have been 412 same-sex couples married in Ireland.
Campaigns have already begun to change the law in the Northern Ireland, the only part of the UK where gay marriage is still not legal.