Monday 23 April 2018

'One of the best days I've ever had' - Irish Qantas CEO dances jig as Yes vote announced in Australia

Quantas CEO Alan Joyce dances a jig to celebrate the yes vote in Australia
Quantas CEO Alan Joyce dances a jig to celebrate the yes vote in Australia
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has spoken of his joy at the yes vote for marriage equality in Australia.

Joyce, who was born and raised in Tallaght, but is now an Australian citizen was at a marriage equality rally with his partner Shane when the result was announced.

"It was absolutely amazing," he told The Project on TEN in Australia.  "It was one of the best days I've ever had I think."

He added, "When the results were read out it was really emotional.  I was in tears.  My partner was in tears.  I got a great hug from [yes campaigner] Magda Szubanski.  She was in tears.  It was a great uplifting moment for everybody in the LGBTI community and it really showed a message to our politicians to just get on and do it now."

In May this year Joyce was pied in the face over speaking out about Qantas' support for the yes campaign, but he said he believes big businesses should support social causes.

"We are in a democracy.  Despite what some politicians would rather have us not saying stuff I think good companies get involved in social causes and I think we as big business have to show there's more than just making a buck, there;s more we have to contribute to society and taking a stance on these things is really important.  Hopefully a lot more businesses will get behind other social causes as well."

Alan Joyce and his partner Shane had an emotional reaction to the yes vote
Alan Joyce and his partner Shane had an emotional reaction to the yes vote

Speaking about his feelings over the yes votes in Australia and Ireland he said he was proud of both countries but particularly his new home.

"I'm very proud," he said.  "I thought the day in May which was in 2015 in Ireland I was very emotional when I saw that but today, this is my home.  I'm an Australian citizen.  My partner lives here, most of my friends are here.  This is a place that to me represents something I'm even more proud of. 

"It was a bigger turnout than Ireland, 80 per cent compared  to 60 per cent, and that makes me extremely proud of both of them but particularly proud of Australia."

Asked if he would now marry his partner Shane he laughed, "I have to say I'm waiting for my partner Shane to build the courage to ask me and if he does I'll probably say yes!"

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