Live Blog: Derry Girls praised in House of Commons debate on Troubles legacy as “brilliant”

Former Secretary of State Julian Smith has described as “mind blowing” by the creator of TV comedy Derry Girls - Lisa McGee - after he referenced the show in the debate over the Government’s Troubles legacy proposals.

By Gemma Murray
Wednesday, 25th May 2022, 12:18 pm

During the second reading debate in the House of Commons (Tuesday), Mr Smith mentioned the “brilliant Derry Girls finale” last week, which paid tribute to the signing of the Good Friday Agreement.

Speaking about the legislation laid down, Mr Smith raised concerns over the Government’s plans for a new independent commission for information recovery.

He also described being “deeply uncomfortable” by the idea of “voting for a Bill that will formalise immunity for those who have committed murder and other crimes”.

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During his speech, the Conservative Skipton and Ripon MP also touched on the 2010 apology by David Cameron over Bloody Sunday, when British soldiers shot dead 13 civil rights protestors in the Bogside area of Londonderry.

He said: “In the brilliant Derry Girls finale, which I am sure that all of my colleagues have watched on Channel 4 last week, the lead character Erin’s monologue on coming of age in Northern Ireland was set to clips of Bloosy Sunday and more imoritantly David Cameron’s apology - a clear modern reflection of the importance of that acknowledgement of the past’.

on Twitter Derry Girls writer, Lisa McGee posted: “This is mind blowing #DerryGirls”.

The Channel 4 sitcom concluded its third and final season on Wednesday (April 18) with a 45-minute special titled ‘The Agreement’.

Even Chelsea Clinton made a surprise appearance in the final episode when she received a letter to her New York home from ‘Erin’.

In the episode, the show returned to Derry one year later around the time of the Good Friday Agreement vote.

But this collides with the 18th birthday of Erin (Saoirse-Monica Jackson) and Orla (Louisa Harland).

Also making a fresh appearance was Liam Neeson as a police inspector who is seen casting his vote on the agreement in silence.

On Twitter Lisa McGee wrote: “Tuesday night AND Wednesday night this week folks and not to be all “writer” about it but please watch them in that order

And hey the full Oomph! They very much go hand in hand. The special is our sign off. ( Oomph is the official screenwriting term btw) #DerryGirls #Goodbye”.

And last night former First Minister Arlene Foster told of her shock at the content of the penultimate episode. She tweeted: “Well no one was expecting that tonight #DerryGirls but so effective as sometimes real life intervenes. Brilliant @LisaMMcGee”

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Derry Girls viewers were last night placed on an emotional rollercoaster after the sudden death of character Clare’s (played by Nicola Coughlan) father, who suffered an aneurysm.

The final scene of the programme showed the coffin being carried into the church.

It came after a number of highs throughout last night with one viewer saying ‘in the blink of an eye life can change, going from elation to loss’, as they also hailed the episode as ‘poignant’.

The popular coming-of-age drama has been on our screens since 2018.

And the show’s writer Lisa McGee has already confirmed that series three is the final installment from the girls and the ‘wee English fella’.

Last year - September 2021 - Lisa McGee took to Twitter to tell fans “it was always the plan to say goodbye after three series”.

She added that it had been an “honour” to write the sitcom.

But fans are cast a glimmer of hope that we could see the return of the characters in the future, as Lisa McGee adds: “Who knows if Erin, Clare, Orla, Michelle and James will return in some other guise someday, but for now this is it for us”.

l-r: Michelle (Jamie-Lee O'Donnell) and Jenny (Leanh O'Rourke) Photo by Peter Marley.
Front row: l-r: Michelle Mallon (Jamie-Lee Oâ€TMDonnell) and Erin Quinn (Saoirse Monica Jackson).Second row: l-r: Mary Quinn (Tara Lynne Oâ€TMNeill), Gerry Quinn (Tommy Tiernan).Third Row: l-r: Sarah McCool (Kathy Kiera Clarke), Granda Joe (Ian McEdlhinney).
Orla (Louisa Clare Harland) Photo by Peter Marley.
Liam Neeson appeared last week as a RUC officer