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Kerbstones painted in rainbow colours ahead of Belfast Pride

Rainbow-coloured kerbstones on Donegall Street in Belfast city centre. Picture by Hugh Russell
Brendan Hughes

UNION flag and tricolour-daubed kerbstones are an all too familiar sight in the north – but now a new roadside hue has emerged.

Kerbstones on a short stretch of pavement in central Belfast have been newly painted in the colours of the rainbow.

The apparent homage to the rainbow flag, associated with the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community, comes ahead of the Belfast Pride Festival.

The kerbstones are at the corner of Donegall Street and Union Street at the heart of what is dubbed by some as the city's 'gay quarter'.

It is home to several gay venues including the Kremlin, Boombox and Maverick.

Once the north's own mini version of Fleet Street, the area still has the main offices of The Irish News and Belfast Telegraph, after the News Letter moved out and the Northern Whig stopped printing.

Mystery remains over who is responsible for the kerb painting, with organisers of the Belfast Pride Festival saying they weren't involved.

A spokesman said: "We didn't know about this until you got in touch. I hope it brightens up the view from the office!"

Last year pink paint was daubed on kerbstones along a short stretch of Union Street ahead of Belfast Pride.

Under the Roads (NI) Order 1993, anyone caught painting kerbstones can be fined up £500. It is an offence to paint on a road unless you have lawful authority under article 87 of that piece of legislation.

Other possible charges include criminal damage and behaviour likely to cause a breach of the peace.

While police rarely pursue such cases, Stormont's infrastructure department has the "discretionary power" to remove items and "where the party responsible for the items can be clearly identified, Transport NI will ask that items are removed".

The 26th Belfast Pride Festival runs from today to Sunday August 7, with Pride Day on Saturday August 6 and the annual parade setting off at 1pm.

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