'The Yes side should enjoy their day' say No campaigners
Congratulating the Yes campaign for its victory in the marriage equality referendum, the No side said they were proud to have “fought for the voices no one else would.”
In a statement, Mothers and Fathers Matter said they had spoken for the “one in three Irish people… not represented by the political establishment, the media, or the institutions of state.”
“We are proud to have fought on behalf of those voices when nobody else would.”
Still, conceding defeat, the group said that today belonged to Yes campaigners.
“This is their day, and they should enjoy it.”
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One of the leading No campaign groups, Mothers and Fathers Matter had opposed the campaign to grant constitutional protection to same-sex marriages.
Earlier today, the Iona Institute congratulated the Yes campaign for “fighting a very professional campaign”.
The institute told RTE New it had been "proud to have helped represent the many hundreds of thousands of Irish people who would otherwise have had no voice in this referendum because all of the political parties backed a Yes vote.”
Director of the institute David Quinn said: "The fact that no political party supported them [the people who supported a No vote] must be a concern from a democratic point of view."
He added: "Going forward, we will continue to affirm the importance of the biological ties and of motherhood and fatherhood."
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Independent Senator Ronan Mullen, who had championed a No vote, wished everybody well on the Yes side, saying that “what was in the vote about affirmation, love and respect for gay people was all a very good thing.”
He said a lot could be taken from the campaign, including learnings for the movement that would want to stress the importance of fathers and mothers in peoples' lives.
Expressing his disappointed that the Constitution would now be changed, Senator Mullen said a lot could be taken from the campaign, including learnings for the movement that would want to stress the importance of fathers and mothers in peoples' lives.
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Independent TD Mattie McGrath, one of few Oireachtas members to declare himself a No voter in the referendum, and said he had “never expected” the No side to win.
“I never expected it to be much better, with the whole weight of the political establishment and public sector [in favour], Google, you name it, the Garda Representative Association. You couldn’t fight that and move that mountain…”
“[Still] We have to congratulate the Yes side on their victory and hopefully the promises that were made by the government ministers will be kept now.”