Ireland’s Tanaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) Eamon Gilmore has said marriage for gay couples is a human right and said he would like to see a referendum in Ireland take place.

Speaking to the RTE radio show “Morning Ireland” Gilmore said, “I don't believe that we should postpone what is a human right and that is one of the reasons why we've asked the Constitutional Convention (to look at it).

The Constitutional Convention will assemble for the first time this December.

Moninne Griffith from Marriage Equality told 98FM news that she believes voters will be having their say on the issue in just over a year. She said theIrish Governmentcould call a referendum as soon as early 2014 and that gay marriage in Ireland could be a reality by the end of the 2014.

A recent poll showed support at 66 per cent for same sex marriage.

The Behaviour and Attitudes poll in the Sunday Times Ireland edition found that among the 971 people who were surveyed earlier this month, two thirds believe in gay marriage with legal entitlements.

The poll showed support for gay marriage is slightly stronger among women than men and is higher in urban areas than in rural areas.

While the majority of those polled believe in legal same-sex marriage, 26 percent believed that current legislation should remain where it stands where gay couples can only enter a civil partnership and eight percent said they did not know or had no opinion on the issue.

Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore has described the issue of gay marriage as the “civil rights issue of this generation."

Gilmore said Ireland winning a seat on the UN Human Rights Council was a measure of the restoration of Ireland’s reputation and a vindication of the country’s human rights record.

The Deputy Prime Minister said Ireland’s priorities would be freedom of religion, the position of women in many societies, and the position of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in some countries.