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Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

Ireland has voted Yes to same-sex marriage

Ireland has become the first country in the world to pass a referendum on the issue.
May 23rd 2015, 9:21 PM 213,501 357

THE SAME-SEX MARRIAGE referendum has passed.

Ireland has voted by a margin of more than 467,000 to pass the Marriage Equality Bill, paving the way for same-sex marriage.

In total, 1,201,607 (62%) people voted for the amendment, while 734,300 (38%) voted against.

Returning Officer Ríona Ní Fhlanghaile made the announcement shortly before 7pm, after delays with three counts from Cork.

It makes Ireland the first country in the world to make same-sex marriage legal by popular vote.

The law

Boxes were opened at count centres across the country at 9am this morning with early tallies indicating that it would not be a close-run race.

Across the country, the majority of constituencies are reporting a Yes vote, with just Roscommon-South Leitrim voting No.

The amendment to Article 41 of the Constitution states:

Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex.

It effectively means that marriage can take place between two people of the same sex and these couples can be afforded the same constitutional protections and rights as married couples of the opposite sex.

The government must now legislate for the amendment before same-sex marriage ceremonies can take place in this country. This is expected to happen in the coming weeks.

Speaking to earlier this week, Tánaiste Joan Burton said she hoped the necessary legislation would be passed “as soon as possible”:

Source: Video: Nicky Ryan/

With reporting from Paul Hosford

LIVEBLOG: Follow the counts and reaction as they happen >

Read all of‘s marriage referendum coverage > 

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Hugh O'Connell


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