New BBC programme about Derry Girls, by Derry Girls

A documentary will be aired next week on BBC2 about the ‘real’ Derry Girls of Thornhill College in the 90s.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 8th June 2022, 8:52 am

The Irish language programme will be aired on Monday, June 13 and not only does it feature past and present Thornhill girls but the crew are made up entirely of past pupils also.

Ceathrar Cailíní Dhoire (Four Derry Girls) follows Ciara Nic Lochlainn, Claire Nic Ruairí, Mary Nic Ailín and Mary Durkan who were all in Thornhill in the 90s and now work with the Irish language at the forefront of what they do. The girls reminisce on their school days and discuss how life has changed between now and then, looking forward to what life will be like for Derry Girls of the future.

Colleen Beattie, Producer of the programme said: “I feel very proud to have worked on this programme, and it’s definitely been very nostalgic for all of us, both contributors and crew alike. The four girls themselves have been fantastic in helping us bring the stories of the 90s to life, and we were very fortunate to have great help from Thornhill College in sourcing some wonderful archive photos and footage. Hopefully we have managed to capture some of the spirit of that era!

Ceathar Cailíní Dhoire, Claire Nic Ruairí, Mary Durkan, Ciara Nic Lochlann and Mary Nic Ailín at their Alma Mater, the old Thornhill College. The Derry Girls feature in a new documentary which will air on BBC2NI on Monday night about the life of the 'real ' Derry Girls.

“There are undoubtedly parallels with the Derry Girls TV series, through references to music and politics- from Take That (Michelle thinks she’s the biggest Take That fan in the world, but it’s actually me!) to the Peace Process, and a nod to our beloved Irish language.

“An overriding theme in the programme is that the school and city helped shaped all of our lives and chosen careers, through the inspiring teachers that we had, and the fact that the 90s was a time of great hope and change in the city and in the North of Ireland.

“We hope that viewers, past pupils and teachers will enjoy this trip down memory lane, and we hope that it’s a great source of inspiration to the younger generation also.

Coincidentally almost the entire crew are past-pupils of Thornhill: Sorcha Ní Chearúlláin, Director, Eve Logue, Camera, Sarah Kivlehan, Editor, Daire Ní Chanáin, voice-over, and myself Producing.”

Mary Durkan, Claire Nic Ruairí, Ciara Nic Lochlann and Mary Nic Ailín with Feargal Mag Uiginn, head of Irish at Thornhill College.

Mary Nic Ailín, who is now principal of Gaelscoil Éadain Mhóir, said: “I thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the programme. It was great spending time with the girls reminiscing of our Thornhill days. My memory is definitely not as good as Ciara’s but we had great craic reminding each other of the fun times we had as pupils of an amazing girls school in our city.”

The programme was produced by Dearcán Media, a Derry based Irish language production company. It will be on BBC2NI on Monday, June 13 at 10pm.

Ceathar Cailíní Dhoire (Four Derry Girls) enjoying a cocktail in the Bowling Alley while filming the documentary which will air on BBC2NI on Monday night.