Some of our Current Special Projects and Campaigns:

  Equality for All Families

In May 2006, the ICCL published a policy paper entitled Equality for All Families which highlighted very serious inequalities faced by many people in Ireland today such as lone parents, same-sex couples, opposite-sex couples, reconstituted families and unmarried fathers. The central problem in Irish law is the constitutional definition of the family only protects the traditional married family, leaving all others without protection. The ICCL’s ‘Equality for All Families’ campaign is designed to raise awareness of this issue and to build political momentum to amend the Constitution to ensure it protects all families in Ireland.

Equality & Rights Alliance (ERA)

The ICCL is an active member of the Equality & Rights Alliance (ERA) which is a newly-formed coalition of over 50 civil society groups seeking to ensure the promotion and enhancement of human rights, equality and social justice in Ireland. ERA formed in response to the Government’s proposal to merge the Equality Authority, the Equality Tribunal, the National Disability Authority, the Data Protection Commissioner and the Irish Human Rights Commission (IHRC), and is continuing its work in the aftermath of the savage cuts suffered by the IHRC and Equality Authority in the October 2008 budget.

Dublin Pride: ICCL Director Mark Kelly's Speech as Yes Equality Grand Marshal with Brian Sheehan and Grainne Healy

  • Article
  • June 27, 2015


Hello Dublin Pride!

You look good from up here. 

Really good.

It’s a huge honour to be here alongside my friends and colleagues Grainne Healy of Marriage Equality and Brian Sheehan of GLEN on this momentous day – this Pride of Prides.

I’m here today because of the work that the Irish Council for Civil Liberties has done with GLEN and Marriage Equality to build and run the Yes Equality 2015 campaign.

And I’m here today because the ICCL has, for nearly 40 years, campaigned for full equality for same sex couples.

All the way to voting day, just a month ago.

To be able to stand alongside Senator David Norris at the Dublin Count Centre as the YES votes poured from the ballot boxes and to be able to stand alongside Senator Katherine Zappone and her wife Anne-Louise at Dublin Castle as the result was declared were two of the most uplifting experiences of my life.

Matched only by today.

For today we have the chance to celebrate all of the people who truly made this happen – the massed ranks of Yes Equality supporters who, hail, rain and shine knocked on doors, knocked down prejudices and got out the vote. Brian, Grainne and I are so proud to have marched before your unfurled banners today.

Let’s remember too the brilliance of the BelongTo campaigners who made sure that voting was a family affair. And the determination of Amnesty Ireland supporters who signed up to the slogan “let’s make history” and then went out and made that slogan live. And the many, many more unsung heroes of the campaign who are with us today.

Thank you all.

I want also to specially thank five Irish Council for Civil Liberties staff who joined the Yes Equality core team – Walter, Suzanne, Karen, Joanne and Stephen. Thank you for everything that you did, and for your good grace and good humour through thick and thin.

This is also the year to celebrate legislative equality for trans people. And to recognize the groundbreaking work of TENI in securing in Ireland one of the most progressive transgender recognition schemes anywhere in the world. Take a bow, Broden Giambrone.

Now, before I finish, I just want to ask … are there any Americans in the audience today?

What an amazing thing your Supreme Court did yesterday. Jim Obergefell and his fellow litigants asked for one thing only – equality before the law and now your Constitution – just like ours – grants them that right. So now you have marriage equality from sea to shining sea.

Congratulations, welcome to Dublin Pride and to the growing family of civilized nations that respect the equality of LGBTQ people.

Change in America and change in Ireland did not come easily or quickly. In both nations, it has been the result of years and years of hard graft by thousands of brave and dedicated activists upon whose shoulders we stand today.

President Obama said yesterday:

“Sometimes there are days like this when that slow, steady effort is rewarded with justice that arrives like a thunderbolt”.

Today, in Dublin, we know exactly how that feels.

There will be lots more slow and steady effort ahead to secure equality for other groups in Ireland whose rights are not yet respected. There will be more struggles and more campaigns before the next equality thunderbolts strike.

All of that is for tomorrow.

Today in Dublin, let’s just savour together the uplift that true equality brings.

Dublin Pride, Pride of Prides, let’s party …

Thank you.

SCOTUS marriage equality judgment builds ‘global momentum’ towards equality says ICCL

  • News Item
  • June 26, 2015
ICCL Press Release For immediate release Friday 26 June 2015 Ireland’s independent human rights watchdog the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL), has today (Friday 26 June 2015)  welcomed the clear ruling by the Supreme Court of the United St...

ICCL Welcomes Changes to Gender Recognition Bill

  • News Item
  • June 4, 2015
ICCL Press Statement Thursday 4 June 2015 The Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) today (Thursday 4 June 2015) welcomes the announcement from the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection, Ms Joan Burton T.D. that, following the result of the...

Video: Why Marriage Matters

  • Article
  • May 16, 2015

Rights Group dismisses “bogus” claims of EU impact of marriage vote

  • News Item
  • May 13, 2015
  Press Release - for immediate release Wednesday 13 May 2015 The Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) has dismissed as "entirely bogus" claims that that a Yes vote in the marriage equality referendum will have an impact on Ireland's opt out und...

Yes Equality: The Campaign for Civil Marriage Equality Formally Launches

  • Article
  • March 10, 2015

YE photocall

Yes Equality supporters pose for press photographers in advance of the launch on Monday 9 March of the campaign at the Rotunda's Pillar Room in Dublin. Photo: ICCL.

Yes Equality: The Campaign for Civil Marriage Equality, a new independent nationwide civil society group was launched yesterday 9 March 2015 at the Rotunda Pillar Room. The group has been formed to coordinate and lead the campaign to win the Marriage Equality Referendum on May 22nd.

Hosted by Charlie Bird, the launch was attended by numerous well known leaders from civil society, and a large representation from social justice organisations, civil society groups, political and faith-based groups, from across Ireland.

The Yes Equality campaign was established by GLEN, Marriage Equality and the ICCL, which have been working for equality for LGBT people for many years. The three organisations have been working together since successfully encouraging the Convention on the Constitution to propose a marriage equality referendum.

The Yes Equality campaign has volunteers and supporters all across the country who have organised into local Yes Equality groups to coordinate the campaign at grassroots level.

Yes Equality is also supported by a wide range of civil society organisations such as trades unions, women’s groups, all political parties, and youth and student organisations. A range of faith based and professional groups including teachers, doctors, psychologists, academics and lawyers, and a diverse range of individuals from all across Irish society – from all age groups. backgrounds, political traditions and religions, are all campaigning hard for a Yes vote.

The campaign has offices in Clarendon Street, Dublin 2 and is registered as company limited by guarantee. LGBT Equality Ltd/Yes Equality is registered as a Third Party with the Standards in Public Office Commission in accordance with the Electoral Acts. All funds raised are compliant with SIPOC Third Party rules.

For more details see the campaign website:



tel: (01) 7030412


Rights groups welcome Commission's Policy Statement on access to civil marriage

  • News Item
  • February 12, 2015
Joint statement by the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL), Marriage Equality and the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) 12 February 2015 "The Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL), Marriage Equality and the Gay and Lesbian Equality Netw...

ICCL calls on Government to release AG's "legal advice" on foetal abnormality legislation

  • News Item
  • February 10, 2015
ICCL calls on Government to release AG's "legal advice" on foetal abnormality legislation "Legal privilege should be waived", Council says ICCL Press release, 10 February 2015 Ireland's independent human rights watchdog the Irish Council for Civil ...

Historic Day as Government Publish Wording for Referendum on Marriage Equality

  • News Item
  • January 21, 2015
Joint Press Release by Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN), Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) and Marriage Equality Wednesday 21 January 2015 Speaking jointly today (Wednesday 21 January 2015), the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN), ...

We are the 80% says ICCL, welcoming pre-campaign equality poll

  • News Item
  • January 14, 2015
ICCL Press Release Wednesday 14 January 2015 Ireland’s human rights watchdog, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, has welcomed the results of today’s (Wednesday 14 January) Red C poll, which estimates pre-referendum campaign public support fo...
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