The majority of Irish people now support same sex marriage and want to see it enshrined in the constitution.

A new Red C opinion poll presented to the Irish parliament says that 73 per cent are in agreement with the statement ‘same sex marriage should be allowed in the Constitution’.

The findings were presented to the Irish government and opposition in a report prepared for the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform on the last Constitutional referendum.

The support has been welcomed by gay and lesbian rights groups.

GLEN group chairperson Kieran Rose told the Gay Community website: “The poll confirms the openness of Irish people and their support for further critically important progress to achieving equality for lesbian and gay people.

“The proposed Constitutional Convention provides the opportunity to build on the progress of Civil Partnership and provide constitutional protection for our relationships.

“It also offers a very important opportunity to protect all families equally, including lesbian and gay headed families.”

Moninne Griffith from the Marriage Equality group told the website that they will fully engage with the Constitutional Convention due to report within 12 months on the ‘legislative and/or constitutional options to provide for marriage equality for same sex couples’.

The convention is expected to include lawyers, politicians and members of the public.

“We look forward to engaging in debate with the members of the Convention, and other stakeholders, as to how marriage equality can be introduced as quickly as possible,” said Griffith.

“With 73% of the population in favour of marriage rights for same sex couples, the Irish people are clearly ready for marriage equality.”