Zappone: I felt like an exile, but Marriage Referendum means people don't need to feel like that again

New minister for Children and Youth Affairs had to leave Ireland to marry her partner 13 years ago

Katherine Zappone, Cabinet, education, government, Independent TD

Independent TD for Dublin South-West, Katherine Zappone, arriving at Leinster House in Dublin | Image:

The new minister for Children and Youth Affairs said she felt like an exile when she had to leave Ireland for a same-sex marriage 13 years ago.

In January, Katherine Zappone remarried her wife Ann Louise Gilligan following the passing of same-sex marriage legislation here.

Earlier, crowds gathered in the courtyard of Dublin Castle to mark the 1st anniversary of the referendum for Marriage Equality.

In 2006, Zappone and Ms Gilligan unsuccessfully took a case to the High Court for their Canadian marriage to be recognised by Irish law.

However, the case became one of first major events in the debate on the recognition of same-sex marriage in Ireland.

Zappone - an Independent TD, and now a junior minister - says it meant a lot to her to be able to get married in Ireland.

"The only reason I had the opportunity to what we call 'bring our marriage home' at the end of January.

"Because we had to leave the country to get married 13 yeaers, and fgelt quite teh exiles in that regard.

"We felt it important to bring it back home and gather our families... and all of our colleagues and friends, as you would normally do when you get married."