Photos: Ireland’s first same-sex wedding takes place
The first couples have tied the knot in Ireland – after the country’s marriage law came into effect following this year’s historic referendum.
The Republic of Ireland approved same-sex marriage in a landslide referendum earlier this year, by 62.07% to 37.93%.
After months of preparations and overcoming bureaucratic hurdles, the green light has been given for weddings to start from this week.
The country’s first couple to wed were Richard Dowling and Cormac Gollogly of Clonmel, who tied the knot this morning in a low-key ceremony outside the registrar office at Clonmel Community Care Centre.
Senior Registrar Mary Claire Heffernan confirmed they were the first same-sex couple to wed in the country.
Mr Dowling told RTE: “We got civil partnered on the 18th of September and all our family and friends were there, that was really our wedding day.
“This is formalising the legalities of our marriage. We wanted to try and get in the history books and be first across the line.
He added: “I really wanted to thank everyone in the Yes Equality campaign, their hard work really paid off.
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“What a seachange Ireland has been through and it’s just so lovely to have been part of it.”
Kieran Rose of the Gay & Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) said: “It is a truly joyful and historic moment, not just for lesbian and gay people, their families and friends, but for all Irish people.
“It is the end of a long legal journey that began with decriminalisation in 1993, equality legislation in 1990s, Civil Partnership in 2010 and culminated in the passing of the marriage equality referendum in May.
“But today is an especially magical moment for lesbian and gay couples who start their new journeys together as married couples.”
Rose added: “There is further work to be done to ensure that the extraordinary support and goodwill of the Irish people is translated into real change in the daily lives of LGBT people.
“Together we can create an Ireland where this and future generations of LGBT people can achieve their full potential in school, in work and in wider society on the same basis as all others.”
Northern Ireland continues to ban same-sex marriage, after the DUP used peace process powers to override a Parliamentary majority voting in favour of equal marriage.
Northern Ireland will ‘recognise’ Irish same-sex marriages as if they were civil partnerships – as it does with all same-sex marriages from elsewhere.