SDLP councillor Martin Reilly has proposed Lisa McGee, the creator of the hit show ‘Derry Girls’, for the Freedom of the City.
The proposal will come before Derry and Strabane councillors at a meeting on Thursday, June 30.
Councillor Reilly said it would be fitting for Ms McGee to be the first woman to receive the honour, given her huge contribution to the city.
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. The final episodes of this series are 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.
“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. 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.
“The fact that Lisa is the first female to be nominated for the Freedom of the City in our city is truly a historic and special occasion. 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.”