Two thirds of Irish people support gay marriage a new Irish Times poll has found. The number is far higher than in recent polls and shows a clear trend towards a more accepting view of gay marriage.

Irish people are also becoming far more accepting of the gay lifestyle. A huge majority 91 per cent do not think less of a person if they are gay or lesbian, again a huge jump in the numbers.

On the question of whether gay couples should adopt children the Irish seem divided with 46 per cent supportive, 38 per cent opposing and the rest unsure.

A large majority also are supportive of civil partnerships with 60 per cent saying they do not undermine the institution of marriage.

These pro-gay numbers are consistently high across almost all  age groups, as well as in urban and rural areas.

Meanwhile in terms of straight couples 57 per cent believe living together is a positive step and 79 per cent do not believe sex before marriage is immoral.

Celibacy was also explored with 48 per cent expressing admiration for celibate priests.

The majority of people however, believe the age of consent for sex should be upped from seventeen to eighteen.