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Saoirse Ronan praised Derry Girls' depiction of the Troubles amid Brexit debate

‘I didn’t fully appreciate the reality.’

DURING A RECENT interview with Harper’s Bazaar, Saoirse Ronan paid tribute to Lisa McGee’s Derry Girls, commending it for its portrayal of the political situation in Northern Ireland prior to the Good Friday Peace Agreement.

Admitting that she was relatively uninformed about the reality of day-to-day life in the North prior to the agreement, Saoirse recalled asking her best friend and Brooklyn co-star, Eileen O’Higgins, if the show did it justice.

A native of Co Down, Eileen told 24-year-old Saoirse that the scenes depicted in the hit Channel 4 show were, indeed, representative of a particular period in recent Irish history. 

“Even I didn’t fully appreciate what the reality of it was,” Saoirse said despite her close relationship with Eileen, who stars alongside Saoirse in Mary Queen of Scots.

Derry Girls handles the situation so brilliantly with humour; you have the girls going, “Och, there’s a bomb on the bridge and I can’t get my nails done now!” And I asked Eileen if that’s what it was really like – soldiers coming on the bus?

Recalling Eileen’s response, Saoirse told her interviewer: “She said, “Yes, yes it was.”

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saoirse on @bazaaruk #saoirseronan ❣️

A post shared by Saoirse Ronan (@saorseronan) on

With Brexit currently at the forefront of public consciousness, Saoirse considered Eileen’s lived experience, and expressed concerns over potential implications on the Irish border. 

“I think no matter what side you’re on in the North, nobody wants to go back to that,” she said.

I was watching RTE news and they were talking about the border – and it’s such a feckin’ mess.

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About the author:

Niamh McClelland

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