The time is finally upon us.
After a long, difficult and emotional campaign, the polls are open and the country is voting on a constitutional amendment to allow for same-sex marriage – and there's a palpable atmosphere of excitement, nervousness and occasion all over Dublin and Ireland as a result.
And while emigration has been a blight upon this land since the recession kicked in some seven years ago, tonight it's been turned into a positive, as expats from all over the world have traversed air, road and sea to come back and do their bit for Ireland. In doing so, they've created a real sense that something special is about to happen in Ireland... and reading through the #hometovote hashtag really does make for emotional reading.
If this doesn't get you and your mates out to vote, it's fair to say that nothing will.
— kevin (@KevBeirne) May 21, 2015
Out of office on. I'm going #hometovote
— Nessy (@nessymon) May 21, 2015
— Carol Hunt (@carolmhunt) May 21, 2015
— Patricia Reilly (@trishbrussels) May 21, 2015
— Alan Early (@alanearly) May 20, 2015
— Jason Byrne (@JasonByrnePhD) May 21, 2015
— Richael O'Brien (@richaelio) May 21, 2015
— David McGovern (@dmcgofficial) May 21, 2015
Back in Ireland. Such a joy seeing all the Yes Posters and banners on the way from the airport. Feeling very proud tonight. #HomeToVote.
— Bronagh McDermott (@BronaghAnn) May 21, 2015
Flew back yesterday from Nairobi to Cork #hometovote - that's a big YES! to equality in Ireland!
— Cormac (@Cormac212) May 21, 2015
Came #hometovote, my Dad told me to shave my beard and my Mam needs 2 months of tech advice. This better be a Yes.
— Paul McDonnell (@paullmcd) May 21, 2015
Reading through the hashtag, it was also clear that the trend was having quite the effect on people who didn't need to do any travelling at all, but who were watching in amazement as the scale of events unfolded before them.
For everything wrong in the world #hometovote is beyond heartwarming and genuinely inspiring
Faith in humanity restored ????
— Wayne Healy (@PlanettWayne) May 21, 2015
The #hometovote hashtag would bring an aul tear or two to your eye
— Dearbhail McDonald (@DearbhailDibs) May 21, 2015
You guys are legends. Safe trip to all travelling #hometovote
— Keith Browne-Byrne (@KeithBrowne82) May 21, 2015
And, of course, the all-important reminder that these expensive flights and arduous treks will amount to nothing if those of us here don't get up and do our bit while the polls are open...
All these people travelling #hometovote are doing so to help get this passed, not to vote in your place. Make their efforts worthwhile. VOTE
— Ireland / Sarah (@ireland) May 21, 2015