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Channel 4's Derry Girls is easily one of the best shows on television at the moment, and we've been eagerly awaiting season two for MONTHS.

The hilarious antics of Northern Irish schoolgirl Erin and her best friends, plus an English boy as a hanger-on, had audiences in stitches laughing.

Lisa McGee, creator of the series, has been teasing season two for weeks, but Nicola Coughlan (who plays Clare) has finally given us the Channel 4 air date:

Derry Girls are BACK on Tuesday March 5 at 9:15pm, set your clocks ladies and gents. The trailer for the next season was released, much to the delight of fans, and it seems like the crew are more amusing as ever. 

Saoirse-Monica Jacskon (Erin) and Lisa McGee discussed what fans can expect in a recent interview, and the hype is BUILDING:

"It's definitely bigger and braver. It's bolder and we sort of venture out a bit more. But they're still the same characters, they're clumsily trying to find their way through their teenage years. They're selfish and mental!," said Jackson.

It's already been confirmed that Father Dougal himself, Ardal O'Hanlon, has joined the cast. This is the cherry on top of the Derry ice-cream.

Lisa McGee also said that the new season will be set "against the backdrop of the beginnings of the peace process. The gang are very much still getting in and out trouble. They're still trying to grow up – not very successfully!" 

Jackson said in another interview with the BBC that "in episode one, we meet a group of Protestant boys- which is very interesting for each of the characters."

"In episode two, we've an inspirational teacher, so, it's very special that we're all getting to see it for the very first time in Derry".

WE CAN'T WAIT. Bring on March 5, and the Protestant lads. Season two is going to be chaotic and gas craic altogether judging by these early premiere reactions.

Here's the trailer again, because we know you can't stop viewing it:

Feature image: Channel 4

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Kevin Hart has been forced to defend himself yet again after he sent prayers to Jussie Smollet, the Empire actor who experienced a recent horrific racist and homophobic attack.

The 35-year-old singer and actor was hospitalised after a savage attack in which a noose was put around his neck and bleach was poured on him, with the assailants shouting 'This is MAGA country' in a racially-motivated attack.

The homophobic and racist hate crime sparked anger all over America, with celebrities tweeting their support for the actor. Kevin Hart sent the actor prayers through his social media accounts, with the 39-year-old tweeting;

"Sending prayers your way Jussie Smollett ….This is unbelievably sad. Why are we going backwards….this is disgusting. We as people have to do better. WTF is going on the world?"

"Why are we falling in love with hate? God damn it people….Choose love…I repeat…Choose love. I will forever choose love and I will continue to teach my kids how to do the same. Stand strong brother," he concluded.

The tweet sparked yet more backlash online, following the controversy which lead to him stepping down from hosting the 2019 Oscars. A series of homophobic tweets were uncovered from the past, featuring jokes about beating up a gay son.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Kevin Hart (@kevinhart4real) on

One social media user responded: "Do you see why the “jokes” weren’t funny now?”, while another replied with one of Kevin’s polarising past tweets reading:

‘”Yo if my son comes home and tries to play with my daughters doll house I’m going to break it over his head and say 'stop that’s gay.'”

Podcaster and writer Ira Madison quote-tweeted Kevin’s tweet about Jussie and wrote: "Your funniest joke congrats." This was the final straw for Hart, who responded with a tweet of his own.

"I stand with a man in his time of hurt and need by giving him heart felt support and u take the time to harp on my ten year past that I have apologised about and moved on from by being a better person. Do you want change? If so I am an example of what u want people to do…CHANGE!" he wrote.

Ira replied, saying; 

"I 'harp' because my community of black queer people face violence 365 days in America and when we tried to tell you that we weren’t trolling you but wanted to educate how your jokes lead to actions like what happened to Jussie, you went on Ellen to talk about your wheelchair movie."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Kevin Hart (@kevinhart4real) on

Fans of Kevin Hart chose to defend him, saying that he has shown remorse for his past actions and praising him for his support of Jussie.

Hart refused to host the Oscars after the controversy, and Ellen DeGeneres gave him a platform to speak about his past homophobic actions.

The Chicago Police Department have just released CCTV images of two persons of interest in the Smollett case. Nine days ago, he was sent a letter in the post to Fox Studios which read: ‘You will die black f*ggot".

He has received negative attention from racist and homophobic people in America as a result of his role in Empire, where he portrays a rising gay, black singer in the music industry.

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As further details of the killing emerge this afternoon, a shocked nation continues to mourn the late Garda Tony Golden.

The 35-year-old was gunned down in the line of duty yesterday evening in Co Louth by Adrian Crevan Mackin, a suspected IRA member who had been on bail.

Adrian Crevan Mackin afterwards turned the gun on himself

 

Crevan Mackin, 24, took his own life after shooting Garda Golden – who was unarmed, in uniform and responding to a 999 call alone at the time of his death.

The killer had also shot his former partner and the mother of his two children, Siobhán Phillips, 21. This afternoon, she remains in a Dublin hospital receiving life-saving treatment for her critical injuries, which include serious head wounds.

Siobhán Phillips, seen with Crevan Mackin, is in a critical condition

 

The Newry-native gunman was due to appear at the Special Criminal Court in Dublin at the end of this month. Following a joint Garda-PSNI operation to target dissident republicans he had been arrested and charged with IRA membership at the beginning of this year. 

Ms Phillips had already reported an earlier incident involving Crevan Mackin to gardaí – and her relatives had also expressed concerns for her safety. 

Meanwhile, dozen of tributes to Garda Golden – who had more than a decade of service to his name – have been made over the last 24 hours. The Garda Representative Association described him as "an Irish hero who died putting his life on the line for his community".

Calling it a tragedy, President Michael D Higgins said he wanted to express his "deepest sympathy to the family and friends" of Garda Golden.

Garda Tony Golden is survived by his wife, Nicola, and their children

 

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald featured on RTÉ's Morning Ireland today, telling listeners that the "death will be mourned by the entire nation, grateful for the service which he gave to it".

She continued: "Gardaí go out everyday, it takes courage to do their job, going out to face the unknown as they do on a daily basis."

 And local Omeath resident Marie McGuinness told herald.ie that the father-of-three “was a gentle giant and an absolute gentleman".

The garda had been based in the now-closed Kill O'The Grange station in south county Dublin, but was deployed to Co Louth some six years ago.

He lived with his young family locally in the town of Blackrock, and originally hailed from Co Mayo. 

Garda Golden leaves behind a wife of nine years, Nicola O'Sullivan, as well as two daughters and a son under the age of eight.

His parents Breege and David, who still reside in Ballina, are also said to be heart-broken and shocked by the tragedy, as are his parents-in-law, Tony and Iris.

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The young man suspected of killing and injuring students at an Oregon college yesterday idolised the IRA, social media posts suggest.

Chris Harper-Mercer, 26, was killed by police during a shootout at one of the classrooms at the Umpqua Community College in Roseburg.

He had begun his killing spree at 10.30am local time.

Police have confirmed that ten people are dead – including the gunman – although Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum has said that 13 people were fatally wounded.

More than a dozen remain injured – some seriously.

A MySpace page belonging to Harper-Mercer contains pictures of masked gunmen and several references to the IRA.

Complete with the headline “British army could not defeat IRA,” another image shows the front page of a 2007 edition of An Phoblacht.

Meanwhile, one photograph of a group of Irishmen dressed in camouflage, wearing balaclavas and holding rifles was captioned “looking cool defending their country”.

He also wrote in a post about that he greatly admired Vester Flanagan, the gunman who killed a cameraman and presenter live on television in August.

The young man furthermore showed an interest in the Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook school shootings, having recently shared documentaries about the massacres online.

“He appears to be an angry young man who was very filled with hate,” a law enforcement official told The New York Times.

It is thought that he was a student at Umpqua at some stage: his name was listed as a production assistant for an forthcoming production of the Noel Coward play, Blithe Spirit.

Harper-Mercer was born in England but moved to the US as a youngster. He had been living with his mother just a few kilometres from the campus.

His father, Ian Mercer, said he was "shocked" and "devastated" by the news.

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