Current Affairs

Video: Irish gay marriage ad becomes a surprise internet hit

Jessica Geen September 4, 2009
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A ad from Irish gay marriage group MarriagEquality has become a worldwide hit on the internet.

The video, titled Sinead’s Hand, sees a smartly-dressed young man traipsing through streets and the Irish countryside asking everyone he meets for ‘Sinead’s’ hand in marriage.

Towards the end of the film, a message appears on screen: “How would you feel if you had to ask four million people permission to get married? Lesbian and gay men are denied access to marriage in Ireland.”

Irish actor Hugh O’Connor plays the young man and the soundtrack is Ocean and Rock by Lisa Hannigan.

After being launched at GAZE, the Dublin Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, the film is now being virally marketed around the world and has become something of a hit.

It has been viewed 54,000 times on YouTube by people from all over the world.

Andrew Hyland, spokesman for MarriagEquality, told “There was already a US version but we wanted an Irish version to make it more relevant to people.

“All the settings will be very familiar to Irish people, depending on where you’re from. There are lots of recognisable sites.

“The actor, Hugh O’Connor, is very famous. He was in Chocolat with Johnny Depp and also My Left Foot. And Lisa Hannigan, who performs the soundtrack, is very popular with Irish people. We called it Sinead’s Hand as Sinead is a very Irish [female] name and we thought it sounded short and cute.

“The film was really made to motivate people. When we premiered it at the Dublin Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, the reaction was amazing. The message at the end got a big round of applause.

“Apparently it is spreading like wildfire. People from the UK, Ireland, America and all over the world have seen it. It’s one of those things that once you’ve seen it, it stays with you.”

Currently, gay marriage and civil partnerships are not legal in Ireland but the Irish parliament is to debate proposed legislation on civil partnerships this month.

It passed, it will grant gay and lesbian couples legal recognition in areas such as pensions, social security, property rights, tax, succession and the payment of maintenance.

However, various advocacy groups are becoming more vocal in their calls for gay marriage.

The government has ruled it out, claiming that it would require a change to the country’s constitution and a potentially divisive referendum.

To watch the video, scroll down

More: Europe

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