A Cork town is aiming to become the first in Ireland to have a 'rainbow crossing' in support of the LGBT+ community.
Members of the West Cork Municipal District Council want to build a rainbow-coloured pedestrian crossing in Clonakilty to show that the local authority backs inclusivity.
Independent councillor Paul Hayes made the suggestion for the brightly coloured crossing, pointing out that they can already be seen in London, many Scandinavian countries, Austria, and a number of states in the US.
He proposed such a crossing could be developed on a pilot basis at the entrance to Spiller's Lane, Clonakilty, and if successful, may be rolled out to other suitable areas in the region.
“As far as I'm aware, nowhere in Ireland has one, and I believe a multi-coloured crossing would slow down traffic even better," he said. "The West Cork LGBT+ group is very much in favour of this.
"There is a growing intolerance in the world. By doing this we would send out a good message.”
While the councillors backed the suggestion, they were informed by council engineers that there were standard designs set by the Department of Transport for pedestrian crossings, and these would have to be changed to allow a rainbow crossing to be developed.
Some senior council officials suggested that if councillors wanted to make a pro LGBT+ statement, they had the option of putting rainbow flags up on council buildings.
Councillors decided to contact their local TDs and senators to lobby them for a change in the standards laid down for pedestrian crossings by the Department of Transport. They are also writing directly to the department seeking the change.
Meanwhile, the Cobh Municipal District Council is planning to officially sever a twinning agreement with the Polish municipality of Kolbuszowa, which has adopted an anti-LGBT+ stance.
The Cobh municipality wrote to their Polish counterparts on July 22 last expressing shock at the stance it had taken, and warned it that it would sever ties if it did not reverse that.