Public toilets in a Northern Ireland city are being promoted as meeting places on the internet for gay men wishing to have sex.

Messages are being left on an online board describing Derry’s Foyleside centre toilets as a place to meet potential partners. Specific messages recommend Saturday afternoons, a time when the centre is packed with young people and families.

Foyleside centre manager, Des Farrell told the Irish News the toilets were checked regularly and public safety was not being compromised.

“I am confident customers’ safety is not compromised here. There is no problem,” he said.

A spokesman for the Rainbow gay health project in Derry condemned the website and the use of public toilets in such a “inappropriate and unacceptable” way.

But he insisted the behaviour was not just from the gay community and there was a risk that the they were being accused exclusively of this behaviour.

He said years of criminalisation of homosexuality left a “hangover of secretive behaviour” and urged anyone participating to contact the Rainbow Project for advice.

A police spokesman said any site that appeared to disclose offences would be investigated.