A poster produced by the Irish Labour Party has been met with derision – for featuring the leaders of potential coalition parties as a gay couple.

The poster, produced by the Irish Labour Party ahead of the country’s Parliamentary elections later this year, features Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams and Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin as a couple getting married.

Referencing last year’s referendum on same-sex marriage, the poster says: “This is one marriage we should vote NO to this year. Vote Labour for a stable and balanced government.”

Labour, Sinn Féin and Fianna Fail all backed equal marriage ahead of the referendum.

However, leading Sinn Féin figures have slammed the poster – which they say shows the Labour Party’s increasing “desperation”.

A Labour spokesperson told the Sunday Independent the well-meaning image was intended to show the choice between a mooted coalition and “the stable, balanced government offered by Labour and Fine Gael”.

The source said: “FF created the bust in the first place and Sinn Fein would return us to bust with their policies.”

The country’s leading LGBT groups have insisted the ad does not have homophobic connotations, given the consensus on equal marriage between all the parties involved.

Tiernan Brady of the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network said: “Labour ad is not offensive to gay people – but it is offensive to all who don’t want Ireland to import US/Tory attack style politics in 2016.”