‘I am proud to call this city my home’ - Derry LGBTQ+ activists welcome fulfilment of vision

Local people who have led the campaign for LGBTQ+ equality and rights in Derry have welcomed the realisation of their vision for a permanent rainbow crossing at a prominent position in Derry city centred.

Tuesday, 7th September 2021, 11:44 am

“Contractors completed the work this Monday evening September 6 shortly before midnight,” said Jim Doherty, Chairperson of Foyle Pride Committee 2020.

“We would like to thank the Foyle Pride Committee 2020 for initiating this project and Derry City and Strabane District Council and in particular former Mayor Brian Tierney for making it happen.”

The crossing, located at the dual carriageway between the Guildhall and the Peace Bridge, reflects a confident, diverse and progressive city at peace with itself, the group said.

Catherine Hemelryk, Jim Doherty and Shá Gillespie at Derry's new rainbow crossing.

“It is the first crossing of its kind anywhere on the island and we are delighted to be sharing it with you.”

Shá Gillespie, founder of the first Pride Parade in 2010 said: “What a beautiful sight, I felt very emotional walking across it, 10 years after we had our first Pride parade in the city. Visibility like this can save lives of young LGBTQ+ people in our community. I am very proud to have been involved in making this happen alongside Jim, Catherine and Brian.”

“I am proud to call this city my home,” said Catherine Hemelryk. “When I first moved here knowing no-one I found the LGBTQ+ community instantly welcoming.

“This is such a special place, a place where you can make ideas a reality! Last year I was a member of the Foyle Pride committee and in June 2020 I remember tentatively asking if everyone thought we could make a rainbow crossing happen in the heart of our city. Since then I worked with Shá and Jim to make it happen!

“We couldn’t have done this without the dedicated support of Councillor Brian Tierney, the 2020/21 Mayor who supported our campaign from the start and not only took the motion through DCSDC but also funded the Crossing as a way to mark ten years of the parade.

“Our city is for everybody and this crossing tells the world that everyone from any background is welcome!”