On May 22, 2015, the Irish people took to the polls to determine whether or not gays and lesbians should have the right to marry. The next morning, the nation and the world awoke to the unexpected news that victory was all but assured. By the evening of May 23, it had become apparent that 62% of voters had cast their ballots in favor of equality, and Ireland became the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage through a popular vote. Today, after months of judicial appeals and legislative progress, same-sex couples can finally get married in the Emerald Isle. At 8:40 this morning, Richard Dowling and Cormac Gollogly officially became the first to do so.
Related | I Was in Dublin for the Marriage Equality Referendum
The Irish Times reports that Dowling and Gollogly, both 35, met 12 years ago at the popular Dublin gay bar, The George, and have been together ever since. The two got engaged in Spain two years ago, and had a domestic partnership ceremony this September with friends and family. A story heard again and again, Gay Star News records Gollogly saying that he had friends fly home from London and Australia to vote, and that two of Dowling's brothers registered to vote for the first time. After the marriage equality law came into effect, they decided to head to the Registrar officer for their country of South Tipperary to have their union formalized into a marriage.
Watch them learn that they were the first in Ireland to get married below: