ACCLAIMED Channel 4 comedy Derry Girls has taken Irish telly screens by storm in recent weeks, and last night's episode closed season 1 with a particularly powerful finale.
The series has largely ignored the elephant in the room until now, despite being set in a Derry girls' school during the Troubles in the 1990s.
*Spoilers for Derry Girls season 1 below*
But the season finale reached an emotional conclusion with a profound scene contrasting the realities of everyday life in Northern Ireland with the devastating impact of sectarian violence.
Viewers were left in tears after the show cut from Erin, Orla, Clare, Michelle and James dancing gleefully in their school hall to Erin's home, where the Quinn family watched on in horror at news reports of a fatal bombing.
The scene was made all the more poignant when Granda Joe placed a hand on the shoulder of his son Gerry, despite having their differences throughout season 1.
If that wasn't enough to dampen the eyes, the scene was soundtracked by The Cranberries' song 'Dreams', just weeks after Dolores O'Riordan's tragic death in London.
The finale provoked a strong reaction online, with viewers taking to Twitter to praise the writers for capturing the “sickening horror of when the violence of the troubles crashed into normal life in NI.”
Speaking to RadioTimes.com, Derry Girls creator Lisa McGee explained that the bomb reference was not based on a specific incident, but was included to juxtapose the mundane aspects of life in 1990s Derry with the stark realities of the Troubles.
She said: “There were lots of day-to-day things that were funny but occasionally there was something big like Omagh, that the whole nation went ‘this just has to change’ and I think, I wanted to mix that in with this ‘life goes on’ thing. It had to be at the end.
“There were lots of times when your family stood around the TV and just couldn’t speak because this was people in your own place doing it to each other.
"I just wanted to nod to the fact that there were those times as well.”
Well that’s the way to end a series. So brilliant, so moving. Congratulations to everyone involved #DerryGirls
— Richard Osman (@richardosman) February 8, 2018
— Mark McFadden (@MarkMcFadden) February 8, 2018
Was keeping it together until Joe put his hand on Gerry's shoulder #DerryGirls
— Kitty Gallagher (@KittyLovesDucks) February 8, 2018
— Louise Hogan (@louise_hogan123) February 8, 2018
Everyday innocence of youth vs the everyday horror of conflict, set to the sound of The Cranberries.
That was the perfect way to end the best TV comedy series since Father Ted. #DerryGirls
— James Gordon (@jamesgordon89) February 8, 2018
I think the end of #DerryGirls brilliantly summed up growing up in the 90s, it was all normal to us, we just had fun and it was up to the adults to worry about the troubles.
— Ciara (@Ciara87C) February 8, 2018