Saturday 3 December 2016

Thousands make trip home from abroad to vote

Laura Larkin

Published 23/05/2015 | 02:30

Hannah Little and Leanne Keogh from Dublin but living in London arrive home by boat for the same-sex marriage referendum. Photo: Sam Boal.
Hannah Little and Leanne Keogh from Dublin but living in London arrive home by boat for the same-sex marriage referendum. Photo: Sam Boal.
Colm O’Connor and Brian O Tuama, members of the Irish LGBT community living in London arrive home at Dublin Port. Photo: Arthur Carron

The votes of those who do not currently live in Ireland could yet hold crucial sway in this referendum.

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Thousands of emigrants returned home from across the globe to vote yesterday, helping boost the already high turnout.

Among the noisiest to arrive were the Get The Boat 2 Vote group who stepped off the Stenaline ferry from Holyhead in Dublin Port.

About 35 people in the colourful gathering returned to Ireland to cast their vote in favour of marriage equality.

The group were a mixed bunch who have united under Joey Kavanagh's campaign, encouraging Irish people who have been living in the UK for 18 months or less to come home to vote Yes.

Brian O'Tuama (28) and his boyfriend David Lawlor (23) stepped out of the baggage area hand in hand, bemused at the sight of the waiting media. "This vote isn't for us, it's for the next generation," they said.

Trains to Holyhead Port in Wales were said to be packed with Irish people.

And a multitude of tweets were sent from airports around the world with emigrants telling stories of their trip home to vote.

Danny O'Gorman (25) from Wexford said that he felt compelled to exercise his right to vote for his gay friends and family.

"I don't think I could live with the guilt if I didn't."

Irish Independent

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