Hollywood star Liam Neeson accepts Freedom of the Borough

Iron Man: Liam Neeson has accepted Freedom of the Borough honour from the council.
Iron Man: Liam Neeson has accepted Freedom of the Borough honour from the council.

BALLYMENA Borough Council has unanimous cross party support to offer Mr Liam Neeson OBE, the Freedom of the Borough.

Speaking after last night’s council meeting, Mayor of Ballymena Alderman PJ McAvoy hailed it as a special day for the borough, he said: “I am absolutely delighted that my colleagues have unanimously agreed to offer what is a very significant honour to Liam Neeson. This is the highest accolade that a Council can bestow on one of it’s citizens.

“He thoroughly deserves this, he is a worldwide star and the best known Ballymena man in the world.”

The honorary award is granted to individuals or groups who have distinguished themselves through their work or efforts, or to recognise the respect and high esteem in which they are held by the people of Ballymena.

Councillor Tommy Nicholl (leader of the DUP grouping) said: “I believe that this is a proud day for Ballymena, I am delighted that Liam will be honoured in this way and take this place alongside the other three individuals that were awarded Freeman of this Borough- Dr Ian Paisley (Lord Bannside), Dr Syd Millar and Sandy Spence.

“This is a significant day and the world’s media will be looking on as we plan for the ceremony.”

Speaking from his home in New York, Liam Neeson said he was honoured and delighted to accept this prestigious award from Ballymena Borough Council.

Neeson said: “Enormous strides have been made in my native Northern Ireland in the past decade, demonstrated by political, social and economic changes that came about through a combination of courage, generosity and persistence.”