Other constitutional amendments will be voted on the same day

The Cabinet has agreed to hold a referendum on same-sex marriage before summer 2015 which will allow the people of Ireland to decide whether the marriage of same-sex couples should go ahead.

If passed, same-sex couples will be given the right to enter into civil marriages and not just civil partnerships which they can engage in now.

The Ministers accepted the recommendation of Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence Alan Shatter that they should follow the guidelines of the Constitutional Referendum.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny strongly supports the decision and commented that the Government will campaign for it when it comes.

Other Constitutional changes are also expected to be considered in 2015 including the possibility of reducing the voting age of citizens to 16, a decrease of two years as the voting age at present is 18.