to legalize same-sex marriage by popular vote.
A lot of blather will be posted about the momentous change--homosexuality was decriminalized 22 years ago there; they legalized divorce only 20 years ago, and a strong reason for the social conservatism was simply, Catholicism, and that was the end of it. It is true that, just as many people have left the Church here in the US, the pews have been emptying in Ireland.
I think there's more to it than that though. There was a high voter turnout among younger people with people actually coming home to vote from abroad--for this particular vote. It's not anti-tradition, but a deep sense that the tradition of marriage is big enough to mean marriage equality for gay couples, and that family is a right that should not be denied. There was huge grassroots support.
This was the result of a labor of love.