Ah, the marriage referendum. A fine time to be alive for not only us, but for the people of the world.
May 23, 2015 – the day after the country went to the polls – will always be remembered as the time our nation held its breath, and then cried, a lot. Followed by swirling flags and dancing in the streets, of course.
A greater thing may not happen in our lifetime. And here's why.
1. Thousands of young people registered to vote
In the run up to the deadline, more than 65,000 voters joined the supplementary electoral register in advance of the referendum.
This equates to some 2,000 new voters having joined the register every single day. Phenomenal stuff.
2. Our tiny country made history
Ireland, on May 23, made global history, after becoming the first country to approve same-sex marriage by a popular vote.
Just over 62% supported changing the Constitution, with over 1.2 million people – yes 1.2 MILLION – turning out in support of marriage equality.
3. #GenerationEmigration came #HometoVote
Planes, trains and automobiles were overbooked and full to the brim with homecomers from all over the world ready to have their say in Ireland's future.
And it made for some pretty heart-warming watching.
4. We found the rightful heir to our equality throne
Widely accepted as the face of the referendum, Rory O'Neill took the world by storm both by his fabulous alter ego Panti Bliss and by his humble self.
Panti was later crowned Queen of Ireland by all those around her – she even gave a televised speech on Christmas Day, like her British counterpart – as an act of appreciation and non stop hard work for the greater good, love.
5. We got to witness Panti, Gerry Adams and Frances Fitzgerald gush with pride with Miriam
AND later take a selfie.
Talk about our dream dinner party.
6. And Panti's Noble Call casually broke the internet all over again
A big year for Ms Bliss.
6. It gave people the courage and strength to stay true to themselves
7. Ireland rightfully gained its big dog status
The result of the referendum was viewed as a triumph of decency, optimism and acceptance. And we as a country are stronger, and sounder, than ever before.
8. The huge boost in the wedding industry in Ireland
Ireland has always been a prime wedding location what with our romantic backdrops with fondness for a good time, but after the referendum passed, The Emerald Isle suddenly became an international hotspot for same-sex couples – who tend to outspend their heterosexual counterparts.
And for a country that's seen serious low points fiscally over the past decade or two, this can only mean good things.
9. We got to see bright, colourful rainbow flags streamlining the city for the year
Made a change to the grey commute to work.
10. Everyone realised that Pride is actually the best craic ever
11. David Norris was generally the most fabulously ballsy being alive
12. The sheer volumes of sass effervescing from the protest posters
We always were a witty breed.
13. The proposals that followed
And the whole country being generally besotted with one another for weeks afterwards. It's almost like it was everybody's wedding!
— John (@irishhooligan) May 23, 2015
14. Well, almost everybody...
— Daragh Brophy (@DaraghBroph) May 23, 2015
15. The people of Ireland danced in the streets of equality
As well as kissed, hand-held and lovingly gazed at one another in their newfound home.
16. We got this absolute gem out of it all
YouTube series Martin's Life effortlessly explains Irish parents take on the whole referendum experience.
17. The introduction of Joe Caslin and his stunning work
Making the land of a hundred, thousand welcomes that bit more welcoming.
18. Sure even Daniel O'Donnell himself got involved
Stating that "I think everyone should be equal". And the aul ones of the country followed suit.
19. We came together as one and proved that love really and truly conquers all
20. The sum of human happiness was increased
A vast statement, but so very true.
And so says a Bishop, so you know it's legit.
21. Everyone finally got to express their true selves
Not an easy task, for anyone. But boy, did they do it in style.
22. The overwhelming support from all around the world
Praising what WE DID.
— chris o'dowd (@BigBoyler) May 23, 2015
I proudly raise a pint glass of Guinness and toast the people of Ireland for voting by a sweeping majority to legalize same sex marriage!
— Neil Patrick Harris (@ActuallyNPH) May 23, 2015
— VP Biden (Archived) (@VP44) May 23, 2015
Classy Mother Erin. X pic.twitter.com/NJBe9zM32e
— Dermot O'Leary (@radioleary) May 23, 2015
— Ellen Page (@EllenPage) May 23, 2015
23. And finally, the fact that our Equality Minister had this to say about it
Took the words right out of our mouth, Aodhán.
Ireland hasn't just said "Yes"...
Ireland has said:
— Aodhán Ó Ríordáin (@AodhanORiordain) May 23, 2015