Derry Girls: Channel 4 comedy aims to portray city’s strong women

The reaction to Lisa McGee's Derry Girls has been mostly positive.
The reaction to Lisa McGee's Derry Girls has been mostly positive.

Derry Girls writer Lisa McGee says she hopes the show underscores the humour, warmth and strength of her home town’s female population.

The woman behind the smash hit Channel 4 comedy, which portrays a group of teenage girls (and a boy) growing up in Derry during the Troubles, says she very deliberately put women and girls at the centre of it.

Lisa McGee.

Lisa McGee.

“When I was very young, watching TV and watching how where I was from was represented, I always thought it was very violent and it was very male,” Lisa said in an interview with RadioTimes.com.

“I hadn’t seen anything, even within the Troubles films and things like that, that really gave an accurate representation of what a real woman was even like.”

That’s why, when she set about writing the six-part comedy, she was determined to depict the ‘amazing women’ who she felt had yet to be seen on screen.

This is a view shared by Saoirse Jackson - another authentic Derry girl - who plays the show’s lead character, Erin Quinn.

“Derry is definitely a very female strong city,” she says, pointing to the impact of the shirt factory industry that kept women in work throughout the Troubles.”

“A lot of men weren’t working and a lot of women were, so it sort of bled that mentality down through the next couple of generations,” she adds.

Derry Girls continues on Channel 4 on Thursday night at 10pm.