Rory O'Neill to deliver 19,000 signature Pantibar sign petition to An Bord Pleanála

Rory O'Neill 'Panti'. Pantibar, Capel Street, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn

Tomás Heneghan

Dublin drag artist and LGBTQ campaigner Rory O’Neill is to deliver a 19,000-signature petition to An Bord Pleanala tomorrow.

O’Neill (also known by his stage name Panti Bliss) posted the news to social media on Tuesday afternoon, saying on Twitter: “Thanks to the 19,000 who signed ‘Save Pantibar Sign’ petition. Delivering tomorrow. Currently 665 pages!”

The ‘Save Pantibar Sign’ petition was created following a decision by Dublin City Council to refuse permission to O’Neill for an outdoor sign for his bar on Capel Street.

The refusal came following three complaints from members of the public about the sign.

O’Neill appealed to his supporters for help through an online petition, which he created in May, saying: “I won't bore you with all the reasons why I think Dublin City Council's decision was completely wrong, I'll just ask that if you like our sign and think it should be allowed stay, then please sign the petition.

“I'll also ask that the next time you are walking down Capel Street, look around and ask yourself is our sign (among all the "projecting" cheap, ugly signs) the problem?”

After receiving the decision of the Council, O’Neill took to his Facebook page to explain the situation.

He said: “Capel Street is not a museum.

Celebrations inside Pantibar after a Yes Vote in Dublin

"It's one of the most vibrant and colourful streets in the whole city (where a rubber stamp shop sits beside a hardware store, beside a Brazilian cafe, beside a Polish supermarket, beside a Thai restaurant, beside an aikido shop, beside a sex shop...) and the Pantibar sign reflects, and adds to that vibrancy.

“The sign also references the nature of the bar, taking cues from "show" signage from The Moulin Rouge to Broadway, to the old lost theatres of Dublin. Indeed, it's already an iconic sign for the city.

"Ask any of the locals and tourists alike who everyday take photographs of it.”

He added: “There is nothing cheap or thoughtless about any of Pantibar's visual communication. I love good design, I love Capel Street. I love Dublin (and wish it weren't blighted by cheap signage that adds nothing to the cityscape).”

There was surprise last month when a campaigner with the Iona Institute, which campaigned for a ‘No’ vote in last year’s marriage referendum, expressed support on Twitter for the sign at Pantibar.

David Quinn wrote in a tweet in June: “Perhaps this will surprise some, but I reckon the sign outside the Pantibar should be allowed to remain in place.”