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The No campaign has accepted that they have lost the referendum

Director of the Iona Institute David Quinn has congratulated the Yes side on their projected win.

Image: Leah Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Updated 11.55am 

THE NO SIDE has accepted defeat in the same-sex marriage referendum.

Appearing on RTÉ radio this morning, David Quinn, director of the Iona Institute, congratulated the Yes side on what is projected to be a victory of around two to one in favour, and also expressed his “disappointment” at the result.

Speaking on Morning Ireland, Quinn said, “I am quite philosophical about the outcome. It was always going to be an uphill battle. We knew that relatively speaking there would be far fewer organisations on the No side. And obviously the parties lined up on the Yes side.”

He also went on to express concerns about what the result would mean, looking at the recent ‘gay cake’ court case involving Ashers Bakery in Northern Ireland.

What concerns me is the likes of what happened to Ashers Bakery up in the North. I mean I would hate to see a scenario like that unfold down here. I mean there are religious people of good intent and good will who are concerned about that kind of thing.

Speaking to reporters at Dublin Castle, independent senator Fidelma Healy-Eames, who called for a No vote, congratulated the Yes side.

When I looked at the article we were amending it was never an anti-gay vote for me.

“I voted for civil partnership, I voted for inter-sex rights and transgender rights only recently in the Seanad. My feelings are, the people have spoken, this is the will of the people.

She said concerns highlighted during the campaign remain and she called on the government to listen to the around one-third of the population who appear to have rejected the amendment.

“I really hope it’s the best result for society and I think it will if the government can keep its commitments around our concerns. Our concerns were that now same-sex couples have a right to found a family. It was around the birth right of children and obviously that is the key concern. Those concerns remain.”

She added:

But I am delighted that the Irish people have put them on the agenda. Today, as I stand before you, we have probably got around a third of the people overall voting No. That is a considerable amount of people as well whose concerns need to be met and they were concerns for society as well.

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Also appearing on Morning Ireland earlier, Eileen King, a spokesperson for the Mothers and Fathers Matter campaign said:

“In terms of what happened on the ground for us, maybe our debate or discussion only really got going in the last three weeks. We always knew it was going to be an uphill battle.”

She said that the No side had struggled as they did not have the same resources as the Yes side.

When asked if it was simply a case that her side had lost the argument, she responded:

Absolutely not.

“For me, in the last three weeks when we finally did get to have our debate put out there, and the real discussion put out. I noticed a turning point across the board in the debates. For the first time I had people approach me and say, ‘well I never thought of it from that perspective. I bought into the buzzword of equality, that soundbite campaign.’ ” she said.

Where as for us it was always going to be more difficult to explain to people why we felt there was more to it than that.

- additional reporting from Hugh O’Connell at Dublin Castle

Read: Early tallies indicate Ireland has voted YES to same-sex marriage

Also: 12 massive celebrities who showed their support for a Yes vote

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