Liam Neeson accepts Ballymena Freedom of the Town honour today 11 years ago

Liam Neeson accepts Ballymena Freedom of the Town honour today

Taken Actor Liam Neeson has finally accepted the honour of the Freedom of Ballymena, despite turning it down in 2000.

By Genna Patterson


Liam Neeson will collect the Freedom of Ballymena honour today at a ceremony in the Braid Arts Centre, Ballymena, Co. Antrim. Previously Neeson had turned town the honour in 2000 after there was controversy about some remarks he made to an American magazine.

The 60 year old actor remarked on feeling like a second-class citizen growing up Catholic in the predominantly Protestant town. He also said he felt he had to remain indoors during the loyalist marches every July, according to the Irish Independent.

It seems that the council and Neeson have moved on since and Neeson will be in Ballymena in person today to collect the award with his family, including late wife Natasha Richardson’s sister and mother, Vanessa Redgrave and Joely Richardson.

Neeson has played titular roles in Rob Roy, Schindler’s List and Michael Collins, as well as a new range of action movies like Taken, The Grey and Unknown.


We wonder if like some old laws, getting freedom of a town allows Neeson to drive sheep through the town whenever he wants. According to the town Mayor, this will not be part of the honour Neeson will be given today. We hope he won't be jealous of Pierce Brosnan who got such an honour in Navan back in 1999. Lucky fecker.