‘It made me cry’: Generation Emigration expresses pride at same-sex marriage result

Irish people abroad have expressed pride, through The Irish Times Generation Emigration website, at Ireland’s vote for same-sex marriage


Tom Morris
I am so moved by what Ireland has done. I am surprised by how much this has impacted me emotionally. I’m a gay Irish American with roots in Manorhamilton, Leitrim. I am deeply grateful to all the Yes voters. To the legion of non-LGBT people who worked so hard to bring this day to Ireland: thank you for your love. I wish I could be there to thank you in person.

Catherine Collins
Absolutely thrilled about the vote. Flew in to Ireland on Thursday from Brussels and had to fly back on Friday after voting at half past seven in the morning. Shows just how far Ireland has come. Turnout was amazing and the #hometovote people made me cry. I was immensely proud to be Irish today.

Benjamin Hemmens
I’m not sure proud is the right word because I didn’t have any hand in it. Apart from the odd couple of months I haven’t lived in Ireland since 1988, basically all my adult life. It feels like it could be a huge watershed . . . Irish people finally deciding to cut people a bit of slack. So many of these campaigns have been fought and unfortunately won on a tide of sourness and meanness. For once it seems as though many people had a clear idea of the humans whose rights they were voting on.

Leslie Hannon
Hello from Auckland, New Zealand. I couldn’t come back to vote because I have been here more than 18 months - I think this debarring period should be lengthened to three years incidentally. As a gay guy, I lay awake all last night, as nervous as the morning of my leaving cert results! I am so proud to be Irish tonight. If this amendment had been voted down, I could never have come home. But I will! Tháinig ár lá. Éire abú!

Paul McMahon
Very proud to be Irish today, which was not something I might have felt growing up in Limerick in the 80s and 90s. Also quite proud of the tone of the debate, which contrasted with the rancour that typified the process here in France, and which reminded me of the previous campaigns over abortion, divorce etc of my youth.

David McMullin
I left Ireland 33 years ago only able to acknowledge that I was different and that I didn’t fit. The full realisation that I am gay took decades more. I still live with the ghosts of old hurts and shame, but today I am filled with admiration and love of a country that has come to understand what judgmental narrow-mindedness and fear have done to everyone, both gay and straight. From today, life will be different not just for those who still live there, but for everyone. Homophobia will continue, but it will no longer be the norm, and that makes a huge difference.

Peter Maloney
I could not be more proud of my Irish heritage than today. I loved Ireland when I visited the County Kerry home of my ancestors, and I hope to return soon. Irish Canadian and proud.

David Guiney
Delighted with the result. I told some friends here in Florida a few years ago that Ireland would legalize ssm before the US and they didn’t believe me. Very proud.

Sinead Clancy
I am so very proud to wake up in Los Angeles today. I’m an Irish citizen living here for the last 15 years. I couldn’t make it home to vote but I have followed the campaign here. From NPR, CNN, MSNBC and many, many news outlets this referendum has had a lot of coverage and I am swelling with pride that our country showed up, turned up and voted YES!

Don McKevitt
So proud of my country today. Following the tallies and comments online in Sydney. Great to see the effort made by people to return home to vote. Irish citizens living abroad deserve the right to vote in referenda. Time to spread the equality worldwide!

Eric Abba-do
I was seven years old during Italia 90 and I still remember the penalty shootout against Romania. Living abroad yesterday was like watching that penalty shootout. Seeing the counts trickling in today was like watching Packie Bonner make that save in slow motion. I haven’t felt this mix of emotions and this visceral sense of citizenship in 25 years.

Killian Nolan
I have never felt so proud. I am an Irish citizen, abroad since 1993, living in San Francisco and fighting a strong urge to run through the Castro District with a tricolour. Well done.

Clara Daly Donnellan
Today I’m the proudest I have ever been to be Irish. Today we are a country standing tall as a shining example to the rest of the world. We are famous for many things - great beer, beautiful landscapes, traditional music and sports, vibrant culture, craic, the world-renowned Irish welcome, the list goes on. But today I am so proud to say that we are the first country in the world to vote in same-sex marriage. We can add tolerance, love and acceptance to that list. And I, for one, think that’s pretty amazing.

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