GCN proudly presents Mar Ref - 5 Years On: A special live broadcast celebrating the anniversary of Marriage Equality in Ireland

Join your host Una Mullally and an amazing lineup of special guests and performers as they relive that magical day in May.

This article is about the Mar Ref 5 Years On live. In the photo, two rainbow flags.
Image: Via Unsplash -

On May 23, 2015, Ireland changed forever. For LGBT+ people across the country, it was a momentous day of victory and celebration. Now, five years after that unforgettable time, GCN is proud to present Mar Ref – 5 Years On a special live online broadcast celebrating the anniversary of the Marriage Equality referendum.

Taking place on Saturday May 23 at 7.30pm on GCN’s YouTube page, host Una Mullally will be joined by an amazing lineup of special guests and performers to commemorate the day when Ireland became the first country in the world to pass marriage equality by popular vote.

This live online event will remember and celebrate the joy we all felt on that life changing day, five years ago. Una will speak to key figures in the campaign to hear about their own experiences of the long road to achieving equality. Viewers will also be invited to share their own memories of the day, and the struggles we all made to get there.

Joining Una will be Gráinne Healy, co-director of the Yes Equality campaign, Ailbhe Smyth, one of the founding members of Marriage Equality, Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland, and Katherine Zappone, whose court case to have her Canadian marriage to her wife, Dr Ann Louise Gilligan, recognised by the Irish State, is recognised as one of the sparks that lit the fire.

There will be musical performances from Wallis Bird and Lesley Roy, as well as many more fascinating speakers and fantastic performers to be announced. After the broadcast, we’ll continue the celebrations with our pals from Mother at Mother’s Kitchen Disco. So get ready for tunes, surprises, all of the feels, and the collective spirit that brought us the kind of change that transformed our society. 

In the run-up to the broadcast on Saturday, May 23, we’re asking you to share your own #MarRefMemories on social media; your recollections from that time, photographs, videos, and the moments that made an impact. It wasn’t all rosy, but our resilience got us through it, and we need to draw from that well now, not just for our LGBT+ community, but for our society as a whole. 

poster for Mar Ref 5 Years On event

While the current climate has put media organisations under huge financial pressure due to a collapse in advertising revenue, GCN remains at the heart of the queer community in Ireland as your national LGBT+ press.

We took the difficult but appropriate decision to pause our print publication in March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, in the past few months, we’ve been working hard to educate, entertain connect and inform our beloved LGBT+ community through a range of online initiatives; our #StayAtHomo series, our In And Out Digital Festival of LGBT+ Creativity and our very special Eurovision Party to name but a few.

But GCN needs your help. By donating during the May 23 live broadcast of Mar Ref – 5 Years On, you will be providing much-needed support to your independent queer media during this turbulent time. You can support GCN by texting “GCN” to 50300 to donate €4* or by visiting our support page

So on Saturday May 23 at 7.30pm – support, watch, share, and enjoy an evening of #MarRef Memories at Mar Ref – 5 Years On.

*Text costs €4. GCN will receive a minimum of €3.25 per text. Service Provider: LIKECHARITY. Helpline: 076 6805278.

© 2020 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

Support GCN

GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community since 1988.

During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.

GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBTQ+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBTQ+ media.

0 comments. Please sign in to comment.