Categories: Press Release

The Tower Museum was absolutely buzzing last night as guests gathered for the opening of the new Derry Girls Experience, paying homage to the award-winning show that’s taken the world by storm.

Lisa McGee’s hilarious but heartwarming tribute to Derry has captured the imagination of fans from all over the world, and the new exhibition brings the story right back to its roots in the city where Lisa grew up.

The unique collection features a quirky array of familiar items from the series, provided courtesy of Hat Trick Productions and Lisa McGee herself, which will now be used to build on the show’s legacy and create a memorable visitor experience for fans. The exhibition, supported by Tourism N. Ireland, Visit Derry and Derry City and Strabane District Council, will remain on display at the Tower Museum until July 2024.

Among the guest list at last night’s 90’s themed event, were Derry Girls star Jamie-Lee O’Donnell, unforgettable in her role as the feisty Michelle Mallon, crew from the show and a whole host of Derry personalities. Not to mention the original Derry Girls themselves – the group of friends who grew up with Lisa McGee and provided much of the comedy material that has made the show such a hit.

They took the opportunity to share some of the memories that found their way into the screenplay, and gave people a snapshot of what it was like to grow up in the midst of a conflict, but embraced by a community famous both for its warmth and its wit. Guests at the event even had a chance to view the original school show Spice Girls routine, courtesy of Lisa McGee’s former teacher Martin Bradley.

Mayor of Derry and Strabane, Councillor Patricia Logue, officially opened the exhibition, paying tribute to all those who had recognised the importance of bringing the Derry Girls story back home. “This is a wonderful opportunity to establish a lasting legacy for the city and connect to the many people who want to find out more about Derry based on what they have learned from Derry Girls,” she said. “Lisa McGee has given the city a wonderful gift and I want to acknowledge the support of Hat Trick Productions, Tourism NI and Visit Derry for helping us turn that into a memorable and meaningful experience for visitors.

“I was delighted to meet the original Derry Girls who inspired Lisa McGee to share their story with the world. Derry is nothing without its people, and Lisa’s tribute to her friends and family really captures the spirit and humour of the city, and that’s what visitors will discover for themselves when they arrive here.”

Speaking at the event, a spokesperson for the original Derry Girls, said it had been fantastic to share in the opening celebration.  “We were all so excited to hear a Derry Girls exhibition was opening at the Tower Museum and now that we’ve seen it, it’s amazing! It’s unbelievable what Lisa has achieved with the show, we always knew she was determined to do a series about Derry and from the start she’d warned us we’d be part of the inspiration for it - but we never imagined it would be this massive! It’s all over the world!

“All of us are so proud of her, she did an amazing job and is so talented and creative. It’s just brilliant to see her getting recognised for Derry Girls and having a full exhibition on it as well. As a big group of friends, we have always thankfully stayed close, so we have loved being part of the journey with Lisa, especially the craic we had watching each episode as it was released and then seeing her success with it, we are all lured for her!”

The exhibition is supported through Tourism NI’s Market Led Product Development Programme 2022/23 as Ciaran Doherty, Head of Regions at Tourism Northern Ireland, explained: “Tourism NI are delighted to have provided funding to create this exciting new Derry Girls Experience. The attraction is distinctively of the place and will build on the great work already done to develop tourism in the city. It will provide yet another reason for people to visit a place rich in culture, heritage and a guaranteed warm welcome.”

Odhran Dunne, Chief Executive of Visit Derry, said the show had raised the profile of the city. “One of our greatest selling points for visitors to the city is the people, where a warm and witty welcome from the locals is guaranteed. There is no doubt that Derry Girls captured the essence and humour of the city perfectly, and the new Derry Girls Experience brings the story right back to where the story began.

“Derry Girls has undoubtedly raised the profile of the destination in domestic and international markets. Building on the wide range of Derry Girls experiences already available to visitors, the new Derry Girls Experience delivers a legacy for the show and provides an excellent opportunity to continue to promote the destination and draw visitors from all over the world.

The Derry Girls Experience will be on show in the Tower Museum daily until July 2024. You can pre-book tickets online at