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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Ireland gay marriage referendum result: near clean sweep expected for Yes campaign

Ahead of the official result, follow the latest news and reaction as Irish voters appear to have approved Ireland’s referendum on same-sex marriageI think yes vote has won, says equality minister#hometovote: Irish abroad return to vote in gay marriage referendumLGBT rights around the world 4.17pm BST With results from 16 of the 43 constituencies now in, the Yes vote is running at 62.4% and the No vote 37.6%. 4.15pm BST The best official result for the Yes campaign so far has come in Dublin South West, with 71.3% in favour and 28.7% against. Support was only marginally lower in Dublin Mid-West at 70.9% voting Yes and 29.1% who voted No. 4.08pm BST With about a fifth of constituencies returning official results, Ireland appears certain to pass the gay marriage rights reform with close to 65% in favour.The biggest support so far was recorded in Kildare North with a 69.67% majority for the Yes side, while the closest contest was in Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s own turf in County Mayo where only 52% were in favour. 4.02pm BST Today’s Modern Toss needs no introduction. 3.55pm BST 'We are full and equal citizens' - Panti Bliss #MarRef 3.53pm BST The streets of Dublin are starting to kick off, with whistles, car horns and impromptu street parties as the Yes camapign really starts to dare to believe it has won. Many were really reluctant to accept it was true even as the tallies emerged. A British stag party has joined in one gathering. Joey Kavanagh, who organised the gettheboat2vote campaign and arrived on Friday with 30 other London Irish to a rousing reception from strangers who’d heard of their journey, said: “I’ve ben so inspired by the creativity, the vibrancy and the love of the yes campaign. Just to see the messages of support I’m getting from around the world. Wonderful day. The most wonderful day. I hope Ireland can now play a key part in the global conversation about equality.” 3.46pm BST Of the votes tallied so far, the Yes vote is running at 62.4% and No at 37.4%. That means 210,729 votes compared with 126,814. 3.43pm BST RESULT: 69.67% in Kildare North vote Yes in same-sex marriage referendum #MarRef 3.42pm BST Irish senator David Norris, who drove the decriminalisation of homosexuality from the 1970s to 1993, says: “It’s wonderful. It’s a little bit late for me ... I’ve spent so much time pushing the boat out that I forgot to jump on and now it’s out beyond the harbour on the high seas, but it’s very nice to look at.” 3.39pm BST Dub Castle gates now closed..hundreds in queue to get in. ushers say will let more in soon #rtenews 3.37pm BST The result for Galway East: 53.3% Yes and 46.7% No. Across Ireland the turnout for the marriage referendum has been significantly higher than the last two votes held in the Republic. 3.33pm BST RTE is interviewing both Gerry Adams and drag queen Panti Bliss. Now that’s progress. 3.24pm BST Ireland’s justice and equality minister, Aodhan O’Riordain, tells of his pride at the expected landslide victory for gay marriage. 3.20pm BST The fourth official result is in: 60.1% Yes and 39.9% No for Meath West, RTE reports. 3.15pm BST Another official result: 68.3% Yes vote in Wicklow, according to RTE. 3.13pm BST #Result of #MarRef from #Waterford: Yes (53.6pc) versus a No of 46.4pc 3.06pm BST Nice day for a Yes vote... 2.55pm BST RTE reports that the first official result comes for the marriage referendum comes from the Sligo-North Leitrim constituency, which has voted 53.6% yes and 46.4% No. 2.50pm BST So it looks like only one county, Roscommon/South Leitrim, is going to spoil a clean sweep for YES in the Irish #MarRef. Quite some result. 2.42pm BST Stephen Fry has told his 9.7m followers that “Oscar smiles in his grave”:Here at #HayFestival - almost no signal but news in that Ireland’s Yes Campaign has carried the day. So so happy. Oscar smiles in his grave. 2.37pm BST More on Northern Ireland - it appears that pressure is set to build on its politicians to allow a vote on gay marriage. Caitriona Ruane, Sinn Fein’s Stormont Assembly Member for South Down, said: “The marriage equality rights that will be enjoyed by Irish citizens in the south must be shared by citizens in the north. Sinn Fein will continue to campaign for marriage equality for all in the North and to end the discrimination against our LGBTI community.” Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK which does not permit same-sex marriage. 2.27pm BST No campaigner, Ronan Mullen, tells media at RDS he'll continue to fight for children to be raised by mother & father 2.25pm BST Huge sense of pride over what has happened in Ireland, tempered by massive sadness that I'm missing the bloody party. #therealvictimhere 2.09pm BST Gerry Adams says the likely Yes vote is “hugely important” and pays tribute to the pro same-sex campaigners. 2.00pm BST Henry McDonald’s story from Friday reminds us that same-sex marriage inexplicably remains illegal in Northern Ireland. But that could soon be tested by a couple who have been married in England. Related: Northern Ireland keeps watchful eye on gay marriage vote across the border 1.51pm BST @Independent_ie Lowest yes votes - Adamstown & Gusserane - both 52pc Yes, Wexford town boxes expected Yes, No #NoVote boxes so far 1.47pm BST Tally complete in Wicklow - 42,497 (68.05%) #YesVote, turnout 68.06%. #PresRef 76% #NoVote #TallyTweets 1.47pm BST Final Tally in Dublin West Yes 29665 (71pc) No 12229 (29%) Turnout 64% #MarRef #TallyTweets 1.46pm BST Australian marriage equality campaigners are vowing to step up their efforts following the expected Irish result. Rodney Croome, convener of Australian Marriage Equality, said: “If there was ever any doubt that marriage equality was inevitable in Australia, the Irish vote has removed it. The questions is not if, but when.”He predicted Australians will feel deeply embarrassed to have fallen behind the traditionally conservative Catholic country. “Australia’s political leaders have no more excuses for dragging the chain.” 1.32pm BST Unofficial results for Dublin’s North West constituency are 70.4% Yes with a 60% turnout, according to RTE. 1.26pm BST The last time Cathal Ashbourne-Loftus and I crossed paths was in southern Lebanon 20 years ago when he was serving in the Irish Battalion of the UNIFIL peace-keeping force. The retired Irish soldier turned up at Dublin Castle today to speak for the No side, which appears to be on their way to a resounding defeat.Ashbourne-Loftus is now a member of the Christian Solidarity Party, a Catholic traditionalist political movement in the Irish Republic. While he admitted “the sky won’t fall in” as a result of the Yes vote, Ashbourne-Loftus predicts a raft of legal battles through Ireland’s courts as a result of gay marriage being introduced. “There is no doubt in my mind that that there will be a flood of cases taken against churches of every persuasion if they refuse to marry same-sex couples in their places of worship,” he said.On why the No side appears to have lost so heavily, Ashbourne-Loftus added: “Many of the older generation whom we canvassed went from Yes, but that did not translate to them voting No ... they simply stayed at home.” 1.08pm BST British rights campaigner Peter Tatchell says: “The Irish people have voted for love and equality. Oscar Wilde would be so proud. This vote will give hope to millions of same-sex couples around the world who want to marry the person they love. Equal marriage is an unstoppable global trend. The Irish vote is proof that love can triumph over prejudice and discrimination.” 1.04pm BST Full and Final Tally in Dublin West Yes 29665 (71pc) No 12229 (29%) Turnout 64% #MarRef Thank you so much! 1.01pm BST Anne and Myles O’Neill, from Terenure, Dublin, says: “I am the mother of two wonderful sons, one heterosexual, one homosexual and I adore them both. And today, both of them are equal.” 12.50pm BST Stephen Carroll, an Irish journalist based in Paris, tweets:Yes Equality campaigners celebrating in the Dublin count centre #MarRef 12.46pm BST A veteran trade unionist, peace campaigner and religious minister to the gay community on both sides of the Irish border has urged other churches to accept the Yes vote.Dublin-born Unitarian minister Chris Hudson, whose All Souls church in south Belfast holds regular services for LGBT Christians as well as those of other faiths, said: “Many leaders of Christian churches called on the Irish people to vote No, but the Irish people did not heed them. Instead people decided to ‘love their neighbour as themselves’ and decided to embrace the spirit of the law instead of the letter of the law, bless them. “Church leaders really need to look at their message of exclusion and the people’s embrace of inclusion. Christianity is alive and well among the good people of Ireland, but the church leaders need to catch up.” 12.37pm BST Sitting here watching the Irish make history. Extraordinary and wonderful. 12.28pm BST Lots of bemused tourists at Dublin castle. A Greek couple are out of tune with the sentiment among growing crowds: “I think this is a terrible thing for this country. Something not to be celebrating. We don’t celebrate that people are against the church in Greece and I’m quite astonished to see this in Ireland.” 12.19pm BST With @NicReillyDrawda who's getting hitched to Ronan next week. Love them both & proud to be his best man #MarRef 12.15pm BST Deardriu Lally flew from Germany last night to vote Yes. She brought her three children - Luke, 9, Tim,5, and Fia, 4 - to Dublin Castle today. “This is the most important day in their lives! I don’t even know where we’re staying tonight but it’s Eurovision night and Dublin will be having a party!” 12.13pm BST And while we wait for the official result of the referendum later today, you might like to watch the TED talk given by Panti Bliss - a very articulate and wise Irish drag queen - in Dublin in September last year. It explains why progress like today’s referendum is important for LGBT people. It’s been viewed almost 2.4m times. 12.09pm BST How ironic that the Angelus bells are ringing at noon, a sound that echoes across Ireland every day of the year and is still broadcast before news bulletins on RTE. An echo too of that old Ireland where politicians and people complied with what clergy told them from the pulpit. 12.07pm BST Notable that the results coming in from across Ireland are showing a lean to yes. Shows how far Ireland has moved as only four constituencies outside Dublin voted in favour of divorce in the 1995 referendum which squeaked in with only 9,000 votes. 12.04pm BST My tweet of the day award goes to the wonderful Panti Bliss. This is how I feel about Ireland today. 11.58am BST While we wait for the final result, click here to read a poignant piece by James Stephen-Donohoe, who tells of the pain he felt as a gay teenager in Ireland: “I could write an essay on the following 20 years of my life journey. Its been one of loneliness, heartbreak, isolation, depression and over the last 10 years one of joy, peace of mind, serenity and contentedness.“I’m writing this piece because I don’t want any more children to experience the fear, loneliness and shame that I and hundreds of my gay brothers and sisters had to and still have to face.”My gay brother Jim posted this today. As his older sis & Gomorher Id no idea he went through this. #VoteYes #MarRef 11.51am BST Aoife O’Driscoll, 33, who is from Waterford, and her partner Anna MacCarthy, 32, from Kerry, both live in Dublin, reports Sandra Jordan. In the run-up to the referendum Aoife says they were canvassing in working class areas like Ballymun. “The kids there can be quite intimidating. Before we might have expected them to be shouting ‘faggot’ or ‘dyke’. But instead they were shouting “go on! Go on”!” Anna says. As it appears that the Yes side will win, she adds: “There’s that sense that you don’t have to fear any more. We have hope.” 11.41am BST Fred Shelbaum (left) and Fergal Scott, who have been a couple for 24 years, tied the knot in a civil union in 2012 but now plan to marry. “We’ve just paid off our debt from the civil partnership festivities and now we are having to pay for a wedding,” said Shelbaum. “There might be a lot of people getting on bended knee today around Dublin Castle when the Yes vote is confirmed.” 11.36am BST The referendum returning officer says the result may be closer to 5pm than 4pm because of the high number of votes cast. 11.34am BST RTE reports that in Enda Kenny’s Mayo constituency, 75% of the ballot boxes indicate a 55:45 split in favour of a Yes vote. 11.32am BST This pict seems to say it all about #MarRef MT @somulligan: So happy and proud of the tally from our polling station 11.15am BST Taoiseach Enda Kenny says there was a 'palpable movement' by people to be involved in the same-sex marriage campaign 11.15am BST Gay Labour party parliamentarian John Lyons, who voted yesterday arm-in-arm with his mother, says: “I’m a very very happy man today. We’ve had a historic count at Ballymum, my home constituency today, looking at 73% for yes. Theres a lot of emotion in people out there today. People will officially feel today a full citizen of Ireland. My Irish mammy was just one of Irish mammies who stood up yesterday to vote.” 11.11am BST David Davin-Power, an RTE political correspondent, says: “This is a major illustration how Ireland has changed in past 20 years. Only four constituencies outside Dublin voted in favour of divorce in referendum in 1995.” 11.06am BST Leaders on both sides of Ireland’s gay marriage campaign expect the measure to be approved by a majority of voters. Senior figures from the No campaign say the only question is how large the Yes margin of victory will be.Cabinet minister Leo Varadkar, who came out at the start of the government’s campaign, says Dublin looks to have voted yes by a margin of 70%, while most districts outside the capital also were reporting strong “yes” leads.Varadkar said: “We’re the first country in the world to enshrine marriage equality in our constitution and do so by popular mandate. That makes us a beacon, a light to the rest of the world of liberty and equality. It’s a very proud day to be Irish.” 11.00am BST Ger O’Keefe, 27, a gay Yes campaigner from Waterford, tells Reuters: “It’s very hard for it to sink in, inside screaming and jumping already but I’m just waiting for that exact moment when I can say it.” 10.58am BST What a hairstyle... 10.54am BST Taoiseach Enda Kenny says it’s looking positive for a Yes vote in the referendum, which would send a “message of pioneering leadership” from the Irish people. 10.52am BST Former Blair-era spindoctor Alastair Campbell offers his view:Ireland led world on smoking legislation. Now looks like being first country to deliver gay marriage with specific popular consent #MARREF 10.49am BST Leo Varadkar, health minister and Ireland’s first openly gay cabinet member, says it is a special day: “It seems to me that the Irish people had their minds made up on this some time ago.” 10.46am BST 52 boxes from Laois opened, 48 remaining. @FineGael tally says several rural boxes indicate 2-1 #Yes #MarRef #TallyTweets 10.44am BST More images from the count... 10.39am BST Ireland’s equality minister has called it already...I'm calling it. Key boxes opened. It's a yes. And a landslide across Dublin. And I'm so proud to be Irish today. #MarRef 10.33am BST Ireland correspondent Henry McDonald is at Dublin Castle where the result will be announced later today. He reports: The first ballot box to be opened in Ireland’s referendum on same sex marriage augurs well for a Yes vote. It came from the constituency of Wicklow/East Carlow and showed a 67% Yes/33% No vote. Later in some predominantly working class constituencies of Dublin the margin for Yes was even higher. One ballot box from Ballyfermot in West Dublin showed an 85% Yes vote. A Yes vote will be not only a major milestone on the road from a sub-theocratic Church-dominated state to a liberal, secular Republic, but also embolden gay rights campaigners across the world. 10.27am BST BREAKING: Returning officer says early count at Dublin North Central shows 65-70% Yes. #MarRef 10.21am BST David Quinn, director of the Iona Institute religious think-tank, which has opposed legalising same-sex marriage, appears to concede defeat already.Congratulations to the Yes side. Well done. #MarRef 10.13am BST Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin has told RTE Radio he is confident that the referendum will result in the introduction of gay marriage: “I think it was a debate that captured the imagination and I had a strong sense that the Yes vote would win. I think that will be borne out today.” 10.09am BST A tweet from the Irish Independent gives an impression of the way the wind is blowing.#Breaking Two boxes in East Meath, from Laytown/Bettystown have shown a 2 to 1 vote in favour of Yes to marriage amendment #MarRef 10.06am BST It appears that Ireland is on course to make history by becoming the first country in the world to introduce gay marriage by popular vote. While counting has only been underway for an hour, early indications from count centres suggests that the campaign to extend the right to marry to same-sex couples will succeed. A high voter turnout was recorded in all regions, particularly in cities, with a significant youth vote and returning emigrants possibly influencing the ballot. 10.04am BST Welcome to our live coverage of the result of Ireland’s historic referendum on same-sex marriage. After yesterday’s vote, counting began this morning at 9am and the result should be known later today. We’ll bring you all the developments as they happen. Continue reading...