Ireland

Updated at 2:25 p.m. ET

Ireland has become the first-ever country to approve same-sex marriage by referendum, voting overwhelmingly to approve it despite opposition from clergy in the heavily Catholic nation, according to official results announced today.

Reuters says in Friday's vote "more than 60 percent of eligible voters cast their ballot, the highest turnout at a referendum there in over two decades."

Earlier, both sides in the debate acknowledged that the "yes" vote had succeeded.

Courtesy photo

Phil Coulter celebrates fifty years as a professional musician this year. His name is revered amongst his peers, and his music has fans around the globe. From a humble working class family in Derry in the North of Ireland, Phil achieved success beyond any thing he had ever anticipated as a young boy, struggling to master the piano.

“I hated the piano! I hated having to practice, I hated scales, I hated arpeggios but most of all I hated my piano teacher,” Coulter remembers.

ARC Music

Over forty years ago, a young family band came together to sing the local pub in County Donegal, owned by Moya and Enya Brennan’s father. Clannad’s sound was essentially Irish, underscored by the fact that they also sang in Gaelic. The native language was extensively spoken in North Western Ireland, but was considered a commercial death knell for anyone hoping to find success in the music industry. So when “The Theme From Harry’s Game,” sung exclusively in Irish, entered the British pop charts at number five, a glass ceiling shattered.

ltub / Wikimedia Commons

Each week on World Music (Saturday nights from 8-10 on KSTX 89.1 FM), I take a look at celebrations happening around the world. This week, a small French town squeals like a pig, a furious horse race runs in Italy, and an Irish town celebrates its 400th birthday.

LA POURCAILHADE

If it looks like a pig and squeals like a pig, it might not be. Once a year, the pretty town of Trie-sur-Baïse in the high Pyrenees, France, recalls its illustrious past as the country’s largest pig market. 

Ryan Loyd / Texas Public Radio

As members of the Harp and Shamrock Society of Texas began preparations for its annual St. Patrick’s Day Celebration, including a Saturday "Hooley," President Kevin Dowd reflected on the tradition.

"The Irish will fight to the death for what they believe in," he said as he cut hundreds of sausage links at Beethoven Maennerchor Hall on Pereida St. "Right or wrong, that's just the way we're made."

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