The European Parliament today voted in favour of an EU roadmap against homophobia and discrimination.

The vote took place today, following a debate in the parliament in Strasbourg last night, where two Irish MEPs, Paul Murphy of the Socialist Party and Fine Gael’s Seán Kelly, made contributions.

Mr Murphy told the parliament last night: "Like the other MEPs, I have been inundated with emails claiming that this report represents an attack on the freedom of speech - because it condemns homophobia.

"It is deeply ironic because in Ireland at the moment, you have a real attack on the freedom of speech."

Supporting 'the Lunaceck report', Mr Kelly said that "we have to give equality to everyone in the EU... I am a big sportsman and I am very happy that hurlers and footballers have come out on this issue."

394 MEPs voted in favour of a report which was put forward by Austrian MEP Ulrike Lunaceck, while 176 voted against it.

Eleven of the Irish MEPs voted in support of the initiative.

Fine Gael MEP Gay Mitchell abstained from the vote.