Put red heart on tricolour, says gay marriage campaigner

Yes campaigner and Irish language teacher Sean O Tarpaigh
Yes campaigner and Irish language teacher Sean O Tarpaigh

Ireland voted Yes to gay marriage in the world’s first referendum on love, a campaigner said.

Irish language teacher Sean O Tarpaigh flew the country’s tricolour as he declared it should have a heart in the middle of it as a symbol of the new equality.

Catholic bishops campaigned against the change but Mr O Tarpaigh said spirituality was not dead as he joined members of the Yes camp at the Dublin count centre.

He said: “It is like a referendum on love, the first in the world.

“We should have a red heart in the middle of the tricolour, we would be the first country to have a heart as a symbol of the country.”

Around 2,000 people packed the Dublin Castle count venue ahead of the result.

Ireland became the first country in the world to publicly vote for the change – and it is also traditionally Catholic.

Mr O Tarpaigh added: “Catholicism traditional matters are gone but I don’t think spirituality is gone.

“It is a shame that the Catholic Church could not embrace a more modern spirituality.

“That whole patriarchal, celibate, male sort of model is just really outdated now, it is really finished and I am pretty certain the Catholic Church will change eventually but at the minute they are behind the curve, which is unfortunate.”

Mr O Tarpaigh claimed there was room for all in the Catholic Church but said it needed to encourage more women to play an active role and embrace “female energy”.