Liam Neeson says a united Ireland will happen if ‘everybody is appeased’

Liam Neeson has expressed optimism over the reunification of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

The 70-year-old Northern Irish actor was speaking to Sky’s Beth Rigby Interviews... programme ahead of the release of his 100th movie, the detective film Marlowe, when he made the comments.

Speaking about the prospect of a united Ireland, he said: “I think it will happen, but, you know, everybody has to be appeased.

“The Protestants in the North of Ireland have a strong voice. I hear them, I know where they’re coming from, and they have to be respected.

“If there’s going to be a united Ireland, their voice has to be heard and they have to be represented, if a united Ireland comes about.”

Neeson was brought up a Catholic in Ballymena and began his acting career on stage in Northern Ireland, performing during The Troubles – the violent, decades-long sectarian conflict that raged in the country.

He reflected on how dangerous it was in Northern Ireland during those years, saying: “There were a couple of nights where the theatre would get a telephone call to be told there’s a bomb, and we’d have to go out onto the street with the audience, and the soldiers came in and searched, and maybe an hour I say, OK, you can go back in again.”

Liam Neeson (Getty Images)
Liam Neeson (Getty Images)

The actor also said the 1998 Good Friday Agreement – a milestone in bringing an end to The Troubles and the anniversary of which falls next month on 10 April – was “an extraordinary achievement”.

Marlowe, out in the UK today, sees Neeson play a down-on-his-luck detective hired to find the ex-lover of an heiress in LA.