Independent candidate Katherine Zappone was confirmed as elected in the Dublin South-West constituency on Monday evening.
Zappone told Irish Times, “I am feeling unreservedly jubilant right now. I am feeling absolutely fabulous. I am so, so privileged to be elected to represent the people I have worked with for so many years and to have all my incredible team here with me.”
As a senator and as a human rights activist, Zappone has always stood firmly at the forefront of Ireland’s movement for LGBT rights and protections.
Nine years after courts nixed their rights to uphold their Canadian nuptials in Ireland, Zappone and her wife, Ann Louise Gilligan, finally got to tie the knot. The couple was wed in Canada in 2003, and went on to fight for their rights in Irish courts for years, but to no avail.
But finally, as votes were still being tallied in the Irish same-sex marriage referendum, Zappone asked Gilligan if she would marry her again. Since, she’s continued to act as an advocate of LGBT rights.
Zappone took the fifth seat by a margin so small it demanded not one, but two recounts.
Zappone was appointed to the upper house of Irish parliament in 2011, upon years as acting chief executive of Ireland’s National Women’s Council. She was declared elected with 9,655 votes to Anne Marie Dermody’s 9,503.
Congratulations on coming out victorious in a close race for Senate, and for always being out in the fight for marriage equality.