Derry Girls writer Lisa McGee nominated for Freedom of the City

Derry Girls creator Lisa McGee is tobecome the first woman to be nominated for Freedom of the City, the ‘Journal’ can today reveal.

By Brendan McDaid
Friday, 24th June 2022, 9:38 am

SDLP Councillor Martin Reilly will nominate Lisa McGee for Freedom of the City at Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Full Council meeting next week.

If approved, Lisa McGee will join a small group of oustanding local people to be awarded the high honour in recognition of their outstanding achievements.

Colr. Reilly has has already submitted the proposal to the Council.

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Derry Girls, writer Lisa McGee, on the left, and actors Nicola Coughlan, Louisa Harland, Dylan Llewellyn and Saoirse Monica Jackson pictured at a previous Derry Girls Season 2 premiere held in The Omniplex Cinema. DER0819GS-001

Speaking ahead of the Council meeting next Thursday, June 30 where the matter will be discussed and decided upon, Councillor Reilly said: “Lisa McGee has brought so much joy and civic pride to our city and district through her writing and this work has undoubtedly put Derry and its people on a global stage.

“Right from the first episode of the first series, the adventures of the Channel 4 ‘Derry Girls’ school teenagers and their experiences growing up against the background of the Troubles, as society moved towards the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, captivated audiences and resonated with people from all walks of life who lived through those difficult decades and informed a new generation of what life was like here in the 1990s. Netflix has taken this to a global audience and this exposure for our city and district has boosted tourism and inspired those who live here - young and old.

“‘Derry Girls’ was the most watched series in Northern Ireland since modern records began in 2002 with Lisa injecting humour and poignancy as she re-told her own experiences living and studying in this city.”

Colr. Reilly said the fact that Lisa is the first female to be nominated for the Freedom of the City is ‘truly a historic and special occasion’.

Lisa Magee at a Civic Reception for Derry Girls hosted by the then Mayor of Derry and Strabane, Councillor Maoliosa McHugh.

“Through her work, people have seen the warmth and charm of our city, the sense of friendship, families pulling together and dealing with adversity - all delivered through various strong female viewpoints. She has created through her writing such a sense of civic pride and strong ‘state of mind’ of what being from Derry means. I’m delighted to put her forward as the first ‘Derry Girl’ recipient of the highest honour that the Council can bestow,” he said.

Colr. Reilly described the recently aired final episodes of this series as ‘a masterpiece in explaining the difficult choices people had to make as this city, the wider island and its people transitioned from day to day bloody conflict to a more peaceful future’.

He added: “Of course, ‘Derry Girls’ is not the only success that Lisa McGee has been involved in.

“Many of Lisa’s other creations have impacted on our TV screens, such as BBC’s BAFTA-nominated Being Human and the Golden Globe-nominated drama series The White Queen, Raw on RTE and The Deceived on Channel 5 being some examples of her long list of successful screen works.

Martin Reilly.

“This contribution to the arts makes her a worthy nominee for the Freedom of the City and follows in footsteps of previous recipients who have excelled in their field.”