Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald has said that following the outcome of the same-sex marriage referendum, the Marriage Bill 2015 will be enacted by the end of July.

Ms Fitzgerald said: "The Irish people have chosen decisively to extend the right to marry to same-sex couples.

"I am particularly proud that the right to marriage equality will now be enshrined in our Constitution as a result of a popular vote.

"I would like to compliment all of those who voted and who campaigned on both sides for what was a passionate and yet civilised referendum campaign."

She added: "I am very conscious that many couples will want to get married as soon as possible. I am working to make that happen."

"The Marriage Bill, which is currently being drafted, will enable same-sex couples to get married in the same way as opposite-sex couples.  

"My intention is to seek Government approval  for the Marriage Bill 2015 in June with the aim of introducing the Bill into the Oireachtas immediately thereafter so that the legislation can be enacted before the summer recess."  

Former minister for justice Alan Shatter earlier welcomed "the Government indicating that the legislation will be through the Houses of Oireachtas before the summer vacation".

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, he said "hopefully that should mean by early September marriages should be able to be celebrated by same-sex couples". 

Mr Shatter, who is also a solicitor, said once the legislation is in place, same-sex couples in civil partnerships can become a married couple if they serve what is known as a notification of marriage on their local district register and celebrate a ceremony.

By the middle of last year, more than 3,000 people had entered civil partnerships in Ireland.

He said three months notice has to be given before the marriage ceremony takes place.

"The very fact of celebrating the civil marriage ceremony will terminate your civil partnership.

"So, you'll go seamlessly from civil partners to being a married couple and I think that's going to be a wonderful, celebratory event for the many people that decide to do this."

He said there is nothing to prevent couples remaining as civil partners if they wish to do so and all the current legal provision applied to those legal partners will continue.

Mr Shatter also added the Bill placed before the Houses of the Oireachtas will have to clarify the procedures to be put in place for same-sex couples who have already been married outside the State.