Senior figures in Ireland and Britain praise Derry Girls for providing education on Good Friday Agreement

Senior politicians on both sides of the Irish Sea have praised hit sitcom ‘Derry Girls’ for educating viewers about the Good Friday Agreement.

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney said the airing of the final episode of the Lisa McGee-penned comedy was particularly timely occurring on the week of the anniversary of simultaneous referendums - north and south - on the agreement on May 22.

“The agreement was endorsed by 94 per cent of people here and 71 per cent of people in Northern Ireland.

“It was endorsed by 85 per cent of those voting across the island as a whole. It was a transformative moment for the island.

“I remember the day vividly, as I expect most in this House do.

“Maybe for a younger generation, who do not remember at first hand the importance and emotion of the vote, it was captured in dramatic form in the final episode of ‘Derry Girls’,” said Minister Coveney in the Dáil.

Former Secretary of State for the north Julian Smith, meanwhile, speaking in the British House of Commons, described the ‘Derry Girls’ finale as a ‘brilliant’ reflection on the past.

“When you stand in the Museum of Free Derry and see a copy of the former Prime Minister’s speech in the display cabinet next to the bloodied clothes of those who were killed, and when you hear what it meant to the people in Derry that the UK Government finally apologised, you get a real sense that that particular UK acknowledgement has made a tangible difference to reconciliation.

“In the brilliant ‘Derry Girls’ finale—I am sure that all of my colleagues watched it on Channel 4 last week—the lead character Erin’s monologue on coming of age in Northern Ireland was set to clips of Bloody Sunday and, more importantly, David Cameron’s apology.

“It was a clear, modern reflection of the importance of that acknowledgement of the past,” he said.

Donegal TD Thomas Pringle, speaking in the Dáil, said: “‘Derry Girls’ was mentioned earlier today and it seems we all watched and were moved by the series finale, which so eloquently captured the emotions surrounding and the significance of the Good Friday Agreement.

“The episode was a great reminder of the importance of the agreement for many people in this Chamber and across the island who were a bit out of touch with what goes on in the North.

“There is no doubt peace must be protected and advanced,” he said.