Out Irish actor Andrew Scott has described the day Irish voters approved same-sex marriage as the happiest day of his life.

The 40-year-old Scott is best known for playing Jim Moriarty in the BBC series Sherlock. He is currently starring as the lead in a production of Hamlet at the Harold Pinter Theater in London.

In a cover story for UK gay glossy Winq, Scott, who grew up in Dublin, talked about the cultural transformation Ireland has undergone since his youth. In 2015, Ireland became the first nation to approve marriage equality through a popular vote.

“It's extraordinary,” Scott said. “In 1993 I would have been 16 so it would have been illegal for me to hold my boyfriend’s hand. And now, genuinely, the fact that Ireland became the first country in the world to vote in gay marriage by popular vote, by referendum, that is absolutely extraordinary to me.”

“And the day that result came out was probably the happiest day of my life. Because I’d done a little bit of campaigning for it and I think it’s a landmark in Irish history – there’s no doubt about it,” he added.