Historical events

When is Derry Girls set? Historical events covered in a TV show

Derry Girls will return for a bonus episode after the season three finale which will focus on the Good Friday Agreement

Set in Derry, Northern Ireland, Derry Girls follows the story of five friends as they navigate life in the 1990s.

The show is set at the end of a period of turmoil known as The Troubles and follows the subsequent path to peace, covering the 1994 IRA ceasefire, President Bill Clinton’s visit and the Good Friday Agreement.

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But are the events of Derry Girls based on real life? Here’s everything you need to know.

When is Derry Girls set?

Derry Girls is set in the city of Derry in Northern Ireland in the 1990s.

Set against the backdrop of The Troubles, this is a coming-of-age story, following five teenagers as they navigate life through the final years of the conflict in Northern Ireland.

The first season is set in 1994, the year of the IRA’s first ceasefire.

Season two takes place in 1995 and season three takes place over two years: 1996 and 1997.

There will also be a special bonus episode called Accord, which is set in 1998 and will cover the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, which cemented peace in Northern Ireland.

What historical events do the Derry Girls cover?

Derry Girls covers many historic events that took place in Northern Ireland in the 1990s (Photo: Peter Marley/ Channel 4)

Derry Girls is set in Northern Ireland in the 1990s.

It was a time of both political turmoil and a journey to peace, and the comedy series covers both equally: from the Omagh bombing to the 1994 IRA ceasefire.

Here are some historical events in Derry Girls:

Visit of President Bill Clinton to Derry

US President Bill Clinton waves to the crowd after his speech in Guildhall Square in Derry (Photo: Getty Images)

President Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary visited Northern Ireland in 1995.

On November 30, 1995, he delivered a message of hope to the people of Derry in the city’s Guildhall Square.

The event, which features in the Season 2 finale, shows Grandpa Joe (Ian McElhinney) eager to catch a glimpse of her and Sister Michael (Siobhan McSweeney) enraging her students by refusing to give them a day off.

As seen in the Season 2 finale, the Derry crowds chanted “We want Bill”.

President Clinton addressed the crowd saying, “Everyday life has become more ordinary but this will never be an ordinary city!”

The first season touches on the Chernobyl disaster.

The nuclear accident in Ukraine, then part of the Soviet Union, in 1986 killed 31 people and left 1,000 square miles of land around the power plant uninhabitable due to radiation.

The episode shows a student exchange program, where students affected by Chernobyl could visit Derry and stay with students.

Sinn Fein chairman Gerry Adams announces the IRA ceasefire in 1994 (Photo: Getty Images)

The IRA ceasefire of 1994 is covered in season two.

The IRA marked the first of its two ceasefires on August 31, 1994 as a commitment to restore peace.

It was the first time there had been a ceasefire in nearly three decades of unrest.

The episode chronicles the delight of the people of Derry as Erin’s family watches the report on TV, only to come out to see everyone celebrating.

Derry Girls will cover the Good Friday deal in their bonus episode, which airs after the season three finale.

The Good Friday Agreement marked the beginning of the peace process in Northern Ireland.

It was signed by the British and Irish governments and political parties of Northern Ireland and outlined how Northern Ireland should be governed.

The purpose of the agreement was to create a power-sharing executive, so that the unionist and nationalist communities would have equal representation.

Although not directly referenced as the Omagh Bombshell, which happened in 1998, the Season 1 finale ended on a serious note, covering a car bomb.

The Omagh bombshell was made in 1998 by the Real IRA in response to the signing of the Good Friday Agreement.

A total of 29 people lost their lives during a busy day of shopping in the County Tyrone town.

Reflecting on the bombing, Derry Girls writer Lisa McGee told the Radio Times: “There were a lot of everyday things that were funny, but sometimes there was something big like Omagh, that the whole nation was saying ‘this just has to change’.

“I didn’t base anything on any particular incident, but it was just something on that scale.”