Derry to get Ireland's first rainbow crossing

Foyle Pride had urged the District Council for support in creating the country's first crossing.

A group of masked people standing beside a rainbow painted on the ground
Image: Martin McKeown

Derry will become the first county in Ireland to have a permanent rainbow crossing, with the symbol of LGBTQ+ Pride covering the crossing on the Foyle Embankment between the Guildhall and the Peace Bridge.

Derry Now reported that the decision by Derry City and Strabane District Council was made following requests from the Foyle Pride festival for the permanent marker.

Foyle Pride had originally made contact with the council in August, and even though the council had agreed in December to support the campaign, they have only now agreed to provide the funding.

The Derry rainbow crossing was praised by Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon, who also commended the council for their decision.

The date of the crossing’s creation has not been finalised, but the council have said they will find the £22,000 to fund it from an underspend in the mayoral budget.

Last year, a town in Clonakilty had seemed like it might have been Ireland’s first permanent location when Members of the West Cork Municipal District Council lobbied for the development of a rainbow crossing.

Although councillors backed the propositions, council engineers highlighted that there were standard designs set by the Department of Transport which would have to be changed for the development of a rainbow pedestrian crossing in the West Cork town. Considering these regulations, other official members suggested the idea of flying rainbow flags up on council buildings as a sign of support.

Back in 2016, the Ranelagh Arts Centre had submitted a proposal to Dublin City Council for a rainbow crossing in their village. According to the organisation, the local community were strongly vocal in having a permanent installation to reflect the overwhelming support for the LGBTQ+ community following the passing of marriage equality.

At the time, spokesperson for the Ranelagh Arts Centre, Drew Cooke, highlighted the symbolic importance of these installations, “The rainbow crossing not only would be a symbol of acceptance but a visual reminder of the growing mindset of the Irish people to embrace all nationalities and cultures.”

However, until the Derry council actually install the rainbow crossing, there are at present still none in Ireland.

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