FF's Micheal Martin: There's something in Irish DNA that reacts to inequality
Published 23/05/2015 | 11:41
Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin predicted from tallies that Ireland will vote 'Yes' in the marriage equality referendum as he said the result will be noted around the world.
"There is something in the DNA of Irish people that reacts to inequality," he said.
"It is something that Irish people do not accept historically and I believe this ballot is a vote in favour of a more inclusive, equal and just society," he added.
Mr Martin said that what was astonishing about the campaign was the way in which people of all backgrounds and ages became so engaged in the debate.
"It was, for the most part, a very respectful and informed debate. I think it reflected very well on Ireland as a country and a society."
"There is absolutely no doubt that Ireland has changed dramatically as a country over the past 20 or 25 years."
"What I particularly noted was the way in which people defied the usual predictions of voter profiles."
"There were young people who were ardently campaigning for a 'Yes' vote. Yesterday, we also saw elderly people going out to vote 'Yes' because they had a daughter, a son, a niece, a nephew or a grandchild who was gay."
"They didn't want to see that person treated any differently in Irish society to anyone else."
Mr Martin said it was a singular achievement for Ireland to become the first country in the world to ratify full marriage equality by popular ballot.
"It is an historic day for Ireland. I think that the outcome of this vote will reflect very well on Ireland as a society that is committed to equality and justice for all."
He also paid tribute to those involved in managing the 'Yes' campaign for what he termed "a very successful, very well thought out and strategic campaign."
Speaking at the Dublin County referendum count in CityWest, Labour leader Joan Burton has said that today is a wonderful victory for the people of Ireland. " We now extend our Cead Mile Failte to all gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people across the world to come to our shores," she said.
She added: "I would like to thank everyone who turned out to vote, Yes voters and No voters equally".