The Fianna Fáil Leader on Dublin City Council, Cllr Paul McAuliffe, has called on the Minister for the Office of Public Works Simon Harris to open the gates of Dublin Castle as the results of the Marriage Equality Referendum are announced.
In a letter to Minister Harris, Cllr McAuliffe said there are hundreds of people who have been heavily involved in the campaign on both sides over the past few months, who have now been told they will have no access to Dublin Castle when the results are announced.
“All eyes will be on Dublin Castle on Saturday as the results of this historic referendum are announced. One of the most striking things about this campaign has been the huge number of people with no affiliation to any political party that have got involved in a political debate for the first time. It is only right that they are given a place to gather and hear the results as they come in,” the Dublin Councillor said.
“Votes will be counted in centres around the country but the official result will be declared in St Patricks Hall of Dublin Castle by the National Returning Officer. The announcement is usually attended by senior political figures in the small confines of Dublin Castle, but the hall itself simply isn’t large enough to accommodate the numbers of people who want to be there.
“I am calling on the Minister with responsibility for the OPW, Simon Harris, to open the gates of Dublin Castle and allow referendum campaigners to gather in the Castle Courtyard on Saturday afternoon as the result is announced. The area has been opened before during the presidential inauguration and it would be an ideal venue for people to gather ahead of the result.
“A number of Councillors on Dublin City Council had attempted to secure a venue from the Council but an emergency motion dealing with the issue was ruled out of order. We don’t need to make this complicated. I have written to Minister Simon Harris asking him to just open the gates and let the people in.”