September likely to be date for first gay weddings - Tanaiste
THE first same-sex marriage ceremonies under the new laws could take place as early as September.
Legislation underpinning the Marriage Equality referendum result is due to be enacted by the summer recess - paving the way for official ceremonies later this year.
Tanaiste Joan Burton said she believes the first ceremonies could take place by autumn.
"I would hope to see it done and dusted before the summer recess. That would mean we would be in a position to have same-sex marriage celebrations, civil ceremonies, probably by September," the Labour Party leader said.
Meanwhile, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has warned that the Catholic Church must carry out a "reality check" on its relationship with the country's youth population following the Marriage Equality referendum result.
The Archbishop of Dublin says the Catholic Church becomes "almost alien territory" for young people when they leave school and that there is a now a growing gap between the Church and the youth culture.
His remarks came on the back of the weekend's Marriage Equality referendum result, which was supported by over one million voters.
Archbishop Martin cautioned that while the strong 'Yes' vote among the young was just one issue, he believed the gap was "much broader" than just the issue of gay marriage.
"For me, one of the biggest challenges is the fact such a large number of young people who grew up and went to catholic schools in a catholic environment in Ireland are drifting away from the Church," he said.
"I believe the Church has to carry out a reality check on its relationship with young people particularly."
Leading 'Yes' campaigners yesterday said the result has "reshaped" the Irish Republic and given a new sense of belonging to the LGBT community.
Meanwhile, Labour's Eamon Gilmore said that he believes that Ireland should become the international advocate for gay rights.
"I think we do need to take this result and advance it but to advance it internationally rather than domestically," he said.
"If you look at many parts of the world it is not just gay marriage that's not available to gay people it is that homosexual people in many parts of the world are persecuted, are criminalised and really are second class citizens."
Within hours of the victory, the reform was being billed as a massive boost for the Republic's reputation on the international stage, sentiments backed by former foreign affairs minister Mr Gilmore.
"Around the world today there are countries that have people who are looking at Ireland and looking at it favourably, want to visit, want to be part of it, and see it in an entirely new light," he told RTE Radio.
Irish celebs celebrated the result both at home and abroad this weekend.
RTE's Derek Mooney said he celebrated the landmark victory by proposing to several people at the Eurovision Song Contest.
"I think I asked several people yesterday but nobody said yes," he said laughing.
"I ran around the entire Eurovision building and I asked anybody who was in my way 'would you like to get married now that we can?'," he said.
Mooney was banned from talking about the campaign due to RTE's gagging order instructing staff not to express their views about the referendum.
"It was a bit frustrating to say the least. I mean having a voice in a democracy is a civil right - not to be able to express that is hard to swallow to be perfectly honest with you," he said.
"But that was the decision that RTE made and that was the decision that, as an employee I lived by," he added.
Rory Cowan is looking forward to touching down in Dublin today as a "100pc fully equal citizen".
The Mrs Brown's Boys star will return home from Vienna today from the Eurovision and he told the Herald that he was "over the moon" with the result of Friday's referendum.
"I just think it's fabulous," he said, adding that people had been congratulating them in Vienna when they discovered that they were Irish.
"Ireland is going to lead the way now I think, I can see other countries demanding it now."
TV3's Alan Hughes, who was an active campaigner in the run up to the vote, said that the majority win for the 'Yes' side was "history in the making".
"It was a really emotional day. I'm really very proud to be Irish this weekend," he said.
Fashion entrepreneur and TV presenter Darren Kennedy was in Dublin Castle for the official announcement that the referendum had passed.
"For me it was a very emotional day, it's hard to put into words how I feel… I was bursting with joy and with pride," he said. "It's great to see this little country make such a stance and break off the shackles of the past."
Rory O'Neill, aka Pantibliss, rose to the forefront of the campaign in the past year and said he was "thrilled and delighted" with the landslide result.
"I never dreamed it would be that big a vote, it means a lot for me," he said.
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