Ahead of a referendum on same-sex marriage this year, the Irish Taoiseach has vowed to “campaign strongly” for a yes vote.

The Taoiseach is promoting a Yes vote in the poll, which will take place in May .

Asked if he will take part in the crucial debates, Mr Kenny said he would but denied his personal opinion had changed on the issue.

He said: “Perception is not often reality. I have given a very clear answer to that question.

Gay Marriage Ireland“And I have made it clear to Deputy (Jerry) Buttimer who is the chair of the group here in Fine Gael that I will be very happy to campaign for a Yes vote when the referendum is held in May.

“Fine Gael actually were the first party to deal with civil registration and civil union.

An April ballot had previously thought to be the favoured option, however referendums on same-sex marriage, as well as reducing the minimum age of presidential candidates from 35 to 21 will take place on an as-yet unspecified date in May.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny made the announcement, saying: “The Cabinet gave approval to hold the referenda, and both referenda will happen on the one day in the month of May 2015. The Government did not fix a final date.”