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Derry Girls: Ian McElhinney reveals cast were final people to enjoy rides at Barry’s Amusements

Star McElhinney promises ‘powerful’ rollercoaster ending from writer McGee

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JOLLYES TIME: Ian McElhinney

JOLLYES TIME: Ian McElhinney

Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX

JOLLYES TIME: Ian McElhinney

Derry Girls star Ian McElhinney has revealed the cast were the last ever people to enjoy rides at the legendary Barry’s Amusements in Portrush.

Ian, who plays no-nonsense Granda Joe in the show, said the cast got the chance to enjoy some of the rides and entertainment at the now closed down venue during filming earlier this year.

Shooting for the third and final series of Derry Girls is almost complete and Ian believes the finished product will blow fans away.

The Game Of Thrones actor told Sunday Life: “I think we’re going to have a great season, we’re effectively done and are at the very end now and I think this season is not only going to keep up the standard it’s going to exceed it.

“I believe we’ll have a great finish too, creator Lisa McGee is brilliant at finishes, it’s one of the hardest things to do as a writer, to end things.

“She’s brilliant at it though and I think people will be sorry when we get to the end and say ‘oh God that’s it’ because it’s going to be a very powerful ending.

“The filming has been fun and it was weird because I think we’re the last people to enjoy Barry’s Amusements because it’s effectively closed down now.

“We were in there and certain things were still operating that we could use and to the best of our knowledge we’re the last people to be in there and have anything working bar the people who are dealing with dismantling it all.

“It was a bit like being the last kids in the playground, we thought ‘oh here we go we’re getting a chance to do something in here’, it was very good.”

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Ian McElhinney with Karen McCausland and Robert Russell

Ian McElhinney with Karen McCausland and Robert Russell

Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX

Ian McElhinney with Karen McCausland and Robert Russell

Last week Girls Aloud star and Derry native Nadine Coyle revealed she has thought about what cameo roles she could have played in the show, including a hairdresser or donning a school uniform to join the girls.

However, with filming almost complete it is unlikely she will feature in the final series and Ian says it’s a shame he never got to meet the popular singer.

He said: “There was talk about Nadine being on the show ever since season two but I don’t know if it was ever serious.

“There was a lot of discussion about it and she is a Derry girl at the end of the day but it never happened, it would have been nice to meet her but I think it was mostly media speculation.

“It was one of those rumours that went around but I don’t know if there was ever any proposals from either party.

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AMUSEMENTS: The Derry Girls cast got to film scenes in Barry’s in Portrush

AMUSEMENTS: The Derry Girls cast got to film scenes in Barry’s in Portrush

AMUSEMENTS: The Derry Girls cast got to film scenes in Barry’s in Portrush

“It would have been novel to have her on set but you need to be careful with shows sometimes, if you put someone in it who is already terribly well known it can take away from the fiction.

“That’s something the writers have to consider, the extent to which you don’t want to take the focus away from the girls.”

Ian spoke to Sunday Life after braving the tail end of Storm Barra in windy and rainy conditions yesterday to help open a new branch of pet store Jollyes on Longwood Road, Newtownabbey, Co Antrim.

He might have been cutting the tape but Ian was only helping out his furry friend, collie spaniel Juno (11), who became the first dog to open a retail store in Northern Ireland.

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The stars of Derry Girls

The stars of Derry Girls

Press Association Images

The stars of Derry Girls

Ian also signed autographs for some Derry Girls superfans who had queued outside the new pet store from 7am for a chance to meet him.

He added: “I know Juno through her owner who’s a friend of mine, I’ve occasionally dog-sat for her in the past we have seen relatively little of each other recently. It’s lovely to see her.

“It was a pleasure to come and open the store and meet some fans of Derry Girls too, they’re still as keen on the show as ever which is great to see. We had a couple of very devoted fans who were here from very early this morning, keeping scrap books and so on which is lovely.”


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