by Róisín Curé in Galway
Some people outside Ireland have certain ideas about our country, usually based on The Quiet Man, which we can live with, or Tom Cruise in Far And Away, which we can't. I still read cringe-worthy - and lazy - stories of leprechauns and twinkly eyes, from people who should know better. But you can't argure with the facts, and the Irish are very proud to have been the first country in the world to have said Yes to marriage equality by popular vote.
I made this sketch of people voting in our recent referendum in my local village of Ballinderreen. I had no way of knowing which way the vote would go. I suspected the vote would be carried, and the vote was 63% in favour. Although I respect the other point of view, and can see perfectly valid arguments both ways, I am very happy that gay people in Ireland now feel they are no longer second-best.
I'm very proud of the changes that have happened in Ireland over the last few decades: we've moved on, without losing the national characteristics of kindness and humour. We've thrown the bathwater out and kept the baby.