Neeson to produce IRA sniper film

Liam Neeson
Liam Neeson

It has been widely reported that Liam Neeson is to co-produce a film adaptation of ‘A Mad and Wonderful Thing’, a novel about an IRA terrorist.

The Ballymena man - who was the last person to receive the freedom of the Borough honour - is teaming up with Parallel Films to adapt the debut novel by Mark Mulholland.

It tells the tale of a fictional IRA sniper - though it is said to be inspired by the author’s younger brother, who was sentenced to 22 years in prison for conspiracy to cause Real IRA explosions in London.

The book was published in 2014 and Neeson hailed it as “excellent: deeply satisfying and moving.”

“I think sufficient time has passed since the Good Friday Agreement to, at last, have a novel that goes inside the head of one of the ‘Troubles’ protagonists,” he added. “To hear the pros and cons of the conflict (to take up arms or not) told in an original and exciting way.”

Of Mullholland he said, “Ireland has a new and exciting voice.”

The novel is set in Dundalk, the author’s hometown, and is narrated by a young man named Johnny Donnelly. He is charming, funny, eloquent - and also an IRA sniper.

A Mad and Wonderful Thing is set to be Neeson’s first film venture away from the camera.