Northern Ireland news

Derry Girls writer Lisa McGee 'stunned' as Freedom of City honour confirmed

Writer Lisa McGee in front of the Derry mural dedicated to her hit Channel 4 sitcom.
Paul Ainsworth

DERRY Girls creator Lisa McGee has said she is "stunned" following a decision by Derry and Strabane District Council to make her the first woman to receive its Freedom of the City honour.

Ms McGee, who wrote the Channel 4 sitcom that recently concluded after three hugely successful series, had been proposed for the honour last week.

Councillors voted to confirm the decision at a meeting last night, where the impact of the "groundbreaking" comedy on Derry was praised.

The show, set in the late 1990s during the peace process, was praised for its contribution to tourism in Derry, where a mural of the show's main cast often attracts crowds of visitors .

SDLP councillor Martin Reilly said: "The next step is now to fix a date that suits Lisa and convene a dedicated special meeting of the council to confer the honour upon her.

"Since the announcement last week, there has been a very positive public reaction to the proposal. People recognise the contribution Lisa’s work has made to the civic pride of this council area and the boost to the tourism sector that her writing has created.

"Lisa will be the first woman to receive the Freedom of the City of Derry so today’s vote marks a unique and important step in our civic history. So many formidable women have left their positive mark on this city over the generations, but the Freedom of the City has been the preserve of men for far too long."

In a tweet following last night's decision, Ms McGee wrote: "Thank you so much! Stunned and shocked and very honoured."

Among those congratulating her was fellow TV screenwriter Sarah Phelps, who described the honour as "so incredibly cool".

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