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Saoirse Ronan arrives at the Gucci Cruise 2018 fashion show at Palazzo Pitti on May 29, 2017 in Florence, Italy.

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Saoirse: Ireland ‘backwards’ if marriage vote fails

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Oscar-nominated actress Saoirse Ronan believes Ireland will be viewed as “backwards” if next week’s same-sex marriage referendum doesn’t pass.

Speaking at a campaign event in Dublin organised by the Yes Equality group, she said it is up to the young people of this country to decide what approach should be taken towards LGBT issues in future.

“Of course there are people that haven’t been able to broaden their mind and think in a more equal way about things, there’s always going to be those people. But I know that I would be very disappointed if we didn’t get a Yes vote next week.

“It’s like when black and white people couldn’t marry, Protestants and Catholics couldn’t marry for a long time, and you think of it as being so ridiculous now… these are all things that we consider to be so backwards and dated, and it will be viewed as that if we get a No vote,” she said.

The silver screen star will be jetting back to Ireland from London on Friday to cast her very first vote, and she believes the referendum’s high-profile build-up among young people can do nothing but good for the democratic process here going forward.

“I read that we’ve got one of the lowest turnouts when it comes to referendums for young people, which is kind of heartbreaking.

“We’re young people, this is our country. If we want to stay here and raise our kids here it’s down to us to make these changes I think, so I would encourage every young person to come out and vote whether it’s a Yes or a No,” she added.

The 21 year-old was in attendance for the launch of what Yes Equality are calling the largest ever ‘get out the vote’ operation for an Irish referendum.

The initiative will ask prospective Yes voters to enter their mobile numbers on the GetMeToTheVoteOnTime.com website, after which they will receive a text message on Thursday reminding them to vote along with another on Friday.