herald

Saturday 3 December 2016

Irish abroad come home in their droves to vote 'Yes'

SUPPORT

Hannah Little and Leanne Keogh from Dublin but living in London arrive home by boat for the same-sex marriage referendum. Photo: Sam Boal.
Hannah Little and Leanne Keogh from Dublin but living in London arrive home by boat for the same-sex marriage referendum. Photo: Sam Boal.

Thousands of Irish emigrants returned home from across the globe to vote in yesterday's referendum.

Among the noisiest bunch to arrive were the Get The Boat Vote group who stepped off the Stena ferry from Holyhead in Dublin Port at 5pm.

Three dozen people in the colourful gathering returned to Ireland to cast their vote in favour of marriage equality.

With a rousing rendition of Elton John's Are You Ready For Love, they marched through the port with rainbow balloons and homemade 'Yes' T-shirts.

campaign

The group were a mixed bunch who had united under Joey Kavanagh's campaign which encouraged Irish people who have been living in the UK for 18 months or less to come home to vote 'Yes'.

Brian O Tuama (28) and his boyfriend David Lawlor (23) stepped out of the baggage area hand in hand, bemused at the sight of the waiting media.

"This vote isn't for us, it's for the next generation," David told the Herald.

On board the train to Holyhead beforehand a ticket inspector, who is set to wed her girlfriend in October, made an unusual announcement over the intercom.

"She came on to say, 'I just want to ask all the Irish on board to use their vote because it was a chance to change people's lives'," said Oonagh Murphy (28).

Oonagh has been travelling over and back to Greystones to canvass for a 'Yes' vote over the past few weeks. Seeing all the people coming home to vote was "overwhelming", she said.

"It's amazing to get a sense that the whole country is behind you to this extent," she added.

Danny O'Gorman (25), from Wexford, said he felt compelled to exercise his right to vote for his gay friends and family.

"I don't think I could live with the guilt if I didn't take part," he said.

Promoted articles

Entertainment News