Proud to be Irish.

We may be a small nation of just over four million people, but we know how to party. Tonight there will be many a party around the country, celebrating the huge Yes vote in todays referendum.

It is an historic day and one I am so delighted to be part of. Today we showed the world but more importantly our own brothers, sisters and friends, that we as a nation accept fully anyone who is lesbian or gay. After many years of having to qualify and justify his choice of partner, my own brother can move on and live equal to his sisters and brother.

Today we have given a message to our younger children, we will accept you for who you are. We have given a message to those who are yet to come out, that it is okay to be gay. We have given a message to those who are together, marry if you wish.

Looking back over years past I reminded my own children of how difficult it was for those who were gay to come out in this country. When I was nursing, if you were living in a gay relationship and you became ill, your partner had no rights. They could not visit you as next of kin, unless your lovers family consented, nor were they allowed discuss your care. On occasions they were not allowed to attend the funeral, nor were they ever spoken of, despite being in a long term relationship. I reminded them that up to a number of years ago it was actually illegal to live in a gay relationship, and that many hid their sexuality, marrying and pretending to be someone they were not all their lives.

Thankfully today has ended those days forever. I think in the midst of all the excitment we need to take a moment to remember those who lost their lives due to our nations intolerance, those who emigrated in order to be who they are, and especially to remember those who were brave enough to stick around, and openly live as gay and lesbian individuals, showing family and friends that they are normal and their love is no different to ours.

Finally I would like to mention my own brother and his partner. I have always been proud of Michael for being the amazing person he is, kind, loving, generous, fun and loyal, now my country has spoken telling him they accept him for who he is, regardless of who he has chosen to love, and I can tell you he has chosen wisely.

Enjoy this historic day everyone, it is indeed a day to be proud to be Irish.

photo credit: Republic of Ireland flag in Quarndon, Derbyshire via photopin (license)

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43 thoughts on “Proud to be Irish.

    1. Thank you how true, love has won. It’s not very often we can say that when politics are involved. It’s been a great day, and looking forward to waking tomorrow and knowing it’s all over with a happy ending

  1. Thought of your brother earlier, tric. Trust you’re also celebrating wildly. I don’t think I’m proud to be Irish, but I’m sure as hell relieved. To the flowering of a fresh future *cuppa aloft*

    1. Thanks Alex. It is a great result and will save lives and allow many to know they are fully accepted and have constitutional rights to protect them.

  2. So very happy for you all! Have a wonderful party today! There will probably be lots of weddings across the country coming up. I know that was the case in the US as different states moved to marriage equality. It was so moving to see couples who had been together for decades finally be able to wed.

    1. I think you are right, a booming industry in gay marriage has been born today. I’m not sure about my own brother, but we can live in hope of a day out.

  3. I kept checking the internet for news last night and again as soon as I woke this morning. Hooray for Ireland! You are so right to be happy and proud. Congratulations. I believe you will inspire others to follow in your footsteps.

    1. Thank you. I’m amazed and touched by how many are interested in what happened today. I look forward to waking up tomorrow to a new Ireland.
      It would be great if this spread to other countries.

  4. What a great day, and the scenes around the country are brilliant after years of recession, budget cuts, unemployment and all that crap we can be a beacon of hope for the entire world.

    1. Today while driving I saw two young fellas, about sixteen, walking holding hands. I wondered would that have happened last week. What a changing times we are living through.

        1. It’s never ending. I also follow an amazing blogger, ‘looking for blue sky’ who has an 18 year old very disabled daughter who the state are doing very little for. She has no idea what is ahead for her come September. I was very touched when she said, ‘maybe now it’s time for equality for our disabled children’.

        2. I know. It does seem like a bottomless pit of things we need to fix or alter. But hopefully this historic achievement makes people more aware of what we can do when all the common sense people get together. How impossible did Saturday seem to anyone who grew up in the 70s or 80s? And yet here we are.

        3. Maybe we should leave the country in the hands of the young, we might be a lot better off. That is why I voted yes for the younger president. As my brother said, after the results why he did the same, ‘if I can put my hope in the hands of so many amazing young people coming home to vote for me, I need to trust there are some who could do this job’.

        4. I voted yes on that too. It got a resounding no though. Yes, I agree with you on the youth, the thing about young people is that are not bound by the umbilical cord of history and all the bias and prejudice that comes with it. Think of the almost forty percent that said No, too caught up in the prejudices and hatred of the past to stop themselves voting to ruin peoples lives.

  5. Small Nation? In size? Of what? Certainly not heart, or spirit, or passion. πŸ™‚ You have led the world now Tric. Your nation is truly a leader among men and women when it comes to acceptance. I appreciate your words.

    1. Sometimes we Irish believe ourselves to be more amazing than we are, but since Sat I have been proud, very proud of so many. The older voters, the rural voters, and those who listened to so many personal stories and changed their minds and voted yes.

      1. I have never, EVER, underestimated the passion and power of the Irish. The size of your land has never stopped you from mesmerizing the world with your wit, your charm, your laughter, your people, and now your world leading-role model setting-acceptance of love.

        You are more amazing than you ever thought you were.

  6. I feel very proud to be Irish and I too am very happy for friends who have lived a secret for years and for those who yet to realise their own sexuality, or who do but are afraid to admit, that they will be accepted. Not just by society but under our constitution.
    Yesterday would have been even more perfect had Ireland gotten through to the Eurovision final!

  7. Thanks so much for sharing this. I had no idea this important referendum was being held and strongly support the outcome. From my understanding, this represents a huge breakthrough in Ireland.
    I am about half Irish descent living in Sydney Australia. I am equally proud of being Australian but I also do connect, albeit long distance, to my Irish roots. xx Rowena

    1. Thanks Rowena. It was a really big deal and we are actually the first country in the world to put it to a public vote. A terrible wrong has been righted.

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