Brendan O’Carroll and Mrs Brown call for Yes vote

Video directed by Lenny Abrahamson stars Ireland’s ‘Mammy-in-chief’ and her son, Rory

A video starring Ireland's 'Mammy-in-chief' Mrs Agnes Brown and directed by Lenny Abrahamson is urging people to vote Yes to in the same-sex marriage referendum on May 22nd.

In the video, Mrs Brown, who is the creation of Irish comedian Brendan O’Carroll, shares her reasons for why she will vote Yes.

The video shows Mrs Brown getting the wrong end of the stick and thinks the referendum is a vote for “midget equality”.

“What have you got against midgets?” she asks son Rory. “Nothing mammy. It’s just that this is about marriage equality.”


Attired in her usual cardigan, Mrs Brown says “nothing beats the joy and contentment I feel knowing that my son Rory has just as much opportunity for happiness as everybody else’s son. And that’s all I ask for him, the opportunity.”

“When two people love each other, you should allow them to get married. What’s all the f**kng fuss?” she asks, using her usual vernacular.

Mrs Brown also urges people to “grow up a bit”.

She acknowledges some people do not think same-sex marriage is correct, but likens this to past hostility towards people of different races marrying.

Mrs Brown notes there was once a time when Catholics couldn’t marry Protestants and a time when women were not allowed to vote.

She asks if people will look back years from now on this moment with “jolly disbelief at a time when people of the same sex could not marry?”

Regardless of their views Mrs Brown urges people to vote. “That’s the important thing”.

However she hopes that the younger generation will seize “their chance to make a change.”

The video also stars Mrs Brown’s son Rory (Rory Cowan) trying to direct his mammy with little success. Good job Abrahamson, who directed Adam and Paul and Frank was on hand to take charge.

O’Carroll’s hit television show Mrs Brown’s Boys, in which he plays a working-class mother from Finglas in Dublin, has picked up the award for Best Comedy at Britain’s National Television Awards for three consecutive years, in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Yes Equality activist Buzz O’Neill and writer Mark O’Halloran, who also wrote and starred in hit Irish movie Adam and Paul, approached a team of Irish filmmakers and asked them to give them their time and expertise make the video.

O’Carroll also wrote the script for the video.

Costs incurred on the shoot were paid for by MCDs Caroline Downey and Denis Desmond.

“All our staff and artists are proud to support a Yes vote on May 22nd, whatever little part we could play in making this happen, we were more than happy to do so,” Ms Downey said.

The video was shot in Glasgow during Mrs Brown’s tour of the UK and the cast of Mrs Brown’s Boys helped out.

A Yes vote in the May 22nd referendum will make Ireland the first country to vote for same-sex marriage.

The Yes campaign is hoping to ride on the popular coat-tails of Mrs Agnes Brown.

The makers have urged people to share the video “with your parents, grandparents and anyone else you know who loves the ‘mammy-in-chief’ as much as we do!”

Anthea McTeirnan

Anthea McTeirnan

Anthea McTeirnan is an Irish Times journalist