Neeson in Unholy Row

Liam fends off flack from hometown

by Willow Green |
Published on

Actor Liam Neeson has inadvertently caused a row in his home town of Ballymena in Northern Ireland. Local councillors who want to give Neeson the town's Civic Honour have been exchanging heated words with members of the Democratic Unionist Party, the organisation founded by another Ballymena native, Ian Paisley. But though the councillors have already voted in favour of Neeson and sent him an invitation to receive the freedom of the city, the DUP aren't taking the news quietly.

They want Paisley to be given the honour as well, and they're none too happy about Neeson receiving it. Their lack of enthusiasm stems from comments Neeson has made about his experiences of growing up in the town. As a catholic, he has said that he felt like a second-class citizen, and claimed that he spent every July 12th indoors - the date is a key fixture in the 'marching calendar' in Northern Ireland, when Protestant lodges celebrate (Protestant) William of Orange's victory over (catholic) King James II. Neeson has referred to the tradition as remembering, "some bloody obscure war where some bloody Catholic king was defeated by some bloody Dutch King who was Protestant." The actor has not announced whether or not he'll be accepting the honour.

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