Free Derry Corner has gone pink to celebrate the first Pride festival in Derry for five years.

The gable wall was painted pink on Friday, and Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness will launch at Foyle Pride Week at Free Derry Corner today.

“This is a gift to Pride from the Gasyard Feile and it is brilliant,” said David McCartney of the Rainbow Project, speaking to the Belfast Telegraph.

“The Free Derry Wall is a powerful symbol of civil liberties.

“It will be sending out a strong message that we want equality and human rights to be respected.”

McGuinness’ support comes two months after controversy over junior minister Ian Paisley Jnr’s homophobic comments in Irish political and music magazine Hot Press.

The Deputy First Minister criticised Paisley Jnr after he said in an interview that he was ‘repulsed’ by gay people.

Foyle Pride Week is being staged from August 13 to August 18.

Free Derry Corner, named for the historic sign reading ‘You are Now Entering Free Derry’ marks the beginning of what was once an area declared autonomous within the city of Derry, which lies near the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

There is still sectarian contention about the name of the city, with Protestants calling it Londonderry.

Local radio DJ Gerry Anderson came up with the term Stroke City to overcome this problem.