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Derry Girls fans left heartbroken after shocking death scene in season finale

Derry Girls season 3 cast
Derry Girls season 3 ended on a devastating note. (Image credit: Channel 4)

Derry Girls season 3 concluded this week, and fans were left in tears after an unexpected death shocked everyone to their core, ending on a hugely emotional moment.

The episode started off fairly normal, as the Derry Girls season 3 finale followed the five friends as they were getting ready for Halloween, having secured tickets to see Fatboy Slim headlining at Derry’s Halloween festival. It's a chance for them to all let loose and have some fun, but it's quickly ripped away.

We even see some romance for Clare, after coming out as a lesbian at the end of season one she gets her first kiss in the finale, but her happiness is short-lived in an ending that stunned fans everywhere.

Da Gerry (Tommy Tiernan) gets a phone call and arrives unannounced at the festival, where it soon becomes clear that something is wrong, and he shares the devastating news that Clare’s (Nicola Coughlan) dad (David Ireland) is in hospital, and things are not looking good.

After rushing to the hospital, still dressed up in their angel costumes, they find out Clare's dad died due to an aneurysm and the group embrace in a beautiful shot where the wings of their costumes are wrapped around each other.

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In the show's final moments, Erin (Saoirse-Monica Jackson), Clare, Orla (Louisa Harland), Michelle (Jamie-Lee O'Donnell) and James (Dylan Llewellyn) attend the funeral as a slowed-down cover of Praise You plays, in a moment that has left viewers in floods of tears, adding an emotional gut punch to a usually funny TV programme.

Plenty of people have taken to Twitter to share their thoughts on the season 3 finale, and it's been praised for being 'poignant', as well as reflecting how life can suddenly take a horrible turn without any time to prepare...

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Speaking at a Q&A ahead of the Derry Girls launch, creator Lisa McGee revealed she had a very personal reason for choosing to kill off Clare's dad in such a heartbreaking way.

She told the press: "The reason why I wanted to do this story is because it happened to my group of friends. My friend's dad died when we were around that age suddenly and it was a shock.

"The thing that really struck me was that we did grow up in this place where there was a lot of unpredictable stuff happening - you worried about a lot of violence - and this was a thing that could happen to anybody at any point - a natural cause thing. I was like 'Oh, God, no one's life's predictable, this could happen to anyone.'"

Derry Girls concludes with a one-hour special episode at 9pm on Wednesday, May 18 which is set during the week of the Good Friday Agreement referendum. So fans will have a chance to recover from the dramatic finale...

All episodes of Derry Girls are available on demand via All4.

Lucy joined the WhatToWatch.com team in 2021, where she writes series guides for must-watch programmes, reviews and the latest TV news. Originally from Northumberland, she graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a degree in Film Studies and moved to London to begin a career writing about entertainment.


She is a Rotten Tomatoes approved film critic and has a huge passion for cinema. She especially loves horror, thriller and anything crime-related. Her favourite TV programmes include Inside No 9, American Horror Story, Stranger Things and Black Mirror but she is also partial to a quiz show or a bit of Say Yes to the Dress