In the weeks leading up to the same-sex marriage referendum a host of celebrities added their voices to the campaign for a yes vote.
Now that the landmark referendum has passed, even more famous faces, both Irish and international, have been praising the people of the emerald isle.
At the Irish Film and Television Awards, held in Dublin’s Mansion House, Hollywood actor Sean Bean couldn’t have been happier with the referendum result.
“It’s a good thing, a very positive thing. I think even the pope said ‘Who am I to say what people do in their lives?’ You know? I think it’s a step forward. If people love each other they should be able to get married to each other. If two men love each other, that’s a wonderful thing,” he said.
Game of Thrones co-star Ciaran Hinds agreed, and said it was “exciting to see”, while Sherlock villain Andrew Scott, who plays evil genius Moriarty, said he still had a sore head from celebrating.“It’s an absolutely historic day for Ireland and I’m incredibly proud of our country. I’m absolutely thrilled to be here to celebrate with everybody, gay and straight,” he said.
Broadcaster Gay Byrne was also “ecstatic” and said he received great feedback after he appeared on a leaflet for the yes campaign. “The young lady who rang me to say thank you for allowing us to use your photograph on our leaflet for the yes side said that the leaflet was walking out of the office, mainly because my photograph was on the front. Do you believe that?” he asked.
“The Irish people did the right thing. That’s it. We just managed to do the right thing, end of story.”
Actress Charlie Murphy said “it’s about time” Ireland legalised gay marriage, while her Love/Hate co-star Peter Coonan explained how personal the result was for him. “It was an historic day for Ireland and a proud day to be an Irishman, an Irishwoman or anyone. I had the fortune of getting into town yesterday to meet a friend of mine who’s living in Brussels and he’s gay,” he said.
“Yesterday when he came home was the first time in seven years that he actually felt like he was welcome. That now he can actually come back and live here. And for me, it doesn’t take me much to well up, but just hearing that from him, one of my best friends since I was a kid… that’s kind of the most important thing.”
Actress Amy Huberman called it “a brilliant day for our country”, while presenter and model Amanda Byram said it was “history in the making” while funny woman Deirdre O’Kane said the referendum result made her feel proud to be Irish.
“At last we have something to celebrate, it just feels like the clouds have lifted,” she said. “And it’s about the young people, it’s about that generation. And didn’t they just make your heart soar? That home to vote broke my heart. I don’t even have words. I wept. I read the papers this morning, I was on the train from Cork to Dublin, and tears streaming down my face with pride.”
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