‘Derry Girls’ star Siobhán McSweeney criticises English education on Northern Ireland

Derry Girls Actor Siobhán McSweeney has criticized the lack of education in English schools about Northern Ireland.

The Channel 4 sitcom wrapped up its third and final season on Wednesday (May 18) with a 45-minute special where the characters voted on the 1998 Good Friday Agreement to end the show. ending decades of violence.

  • READ MORE: First Look: ‘Derry Girls’ third season review – a proper, split breakup

The topic has gained further relevance after Brexit and the Northern Ireland Protocol implemented in 2019, which Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said needs to be “fixed” in the wake of political turmoil.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today McSweeney, who plays Sister Michael, said it was an “absolute disgrace” that many British viewers said they learned more from watching Derry Girls than at school about Northern Ireland issues.

“I woke up this morning to not a single lie, hundreds, hundreds and hundreds of messages, and at least three-quarters of them were ‘Derry Girls McSweeney taught me more about the history of Northern Ireland and England than anything I was taught in school,’ McSweeney said.

“I think if you put the absolute disgrace aside, there is a hole in the education system here that they have to watch a comedy to learn about the still influential Northern Irish politics. To this day, I think it shows how good that was. The medium of comedy can be to convey a message. “

Referring to the show’s relevance to the threat to the Good Friday Deal from Brexit today, McSweeney added: “The timing couldn’t have been more appropriate. I’m going to be bewildered by this because I feel quite emotional about the ending of a sitcom and what it shows instead is that the past is not the past, it’s always with us. ”

“The Good Friday deal was so hard to win and fought so hard for, the people of Northern Ireland voted for it, and now it is in danger of being attacked due to ignorance.

“But again it goes back to the idea that a comedy is teaching the people of this country about Northern Ireland’s history and that’s not how it should be.”

She added: “I felt so deeply absorbed when we watched it [the Derry Girls characters] going to the end full of hope filled with hope for peace, for reconciliation, for young people and what their future is, and we have cut it off right now and that is in jeopardy and that makes my heart is broken. ”

The Derry Girls the finale featured Chelsea Clinton and Liam Neeson, after the latter appeared in the first episode of season three.

https://www.nme.com/news/tv/derry-girls-star-siobhan-mcsweeney-criticises-english-education-on-northern-ireland-3230463?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=derry-girls-star-siobhan-mcsweeney-criticises-english-education-on-northern-ireland ‘Derry Girls’ star Siobhán McSweeney criticises English education on Northern Ireland

Emma James

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