Northern Ireland news

Liam Neeson shows off hurling skills in support of Cushendall

Liam Neeson plays hurling 
Jennifer Maloney

ACTOR Liam Neeson has shown off a particular set of hurling skills to lend his support to Cushendall's bid to win the All-Ireland title.

The Taken star was filmed swinging a hurl and encouraging the Co Antrim club ahead of their final meeting with Limerick side Na Piarsaigh at Croke Park on St Patrick's Day.

Ruairi Og, Cushendall posted the video on their Twitter page of Ballymena man Neeson, who played hurling as a pupil at St Patrick's College in the Co Antrim town.

Earlier this week, the actor made a surprise visit to Slemish College in his hometown of Ballymena, which is marking its 20th anniversary.

Neeson - who is a major supporter of the integrated sector - joined principal Dr Paul McHugh, head boy Connor Lunnun and head girl Abigail Fletcher to cut a special cake in the shape of the school building.

The 63-year-old star posed for photos with pupils and staff, signed autographs and chatted with students for about two hours on Monday.

Neeson watched performances by the school's drama department, spoke about film and acting and had tea and cake with Year 14 pupils.

Neeson grew up in Corlea Gardens in Ballymena's Demesne estate and was educated at St Patrick's Secondary School in the town, now St Patrick's College.

He is believed to be staying with a family member while back in Ballymena and was spotted walking through the town early on Monday.

Last month, the actor took time out from his schedule to support the people of Ballymena in their battle for jobs.

He recorded a short video urging the public to support the Rally For A Future following the loss of 2,000 jobs in Ballymena with the imminent closures of JTI Gallaher and Michelin.

In 2013 the Oscar nominated star was awarded the Freedom of the Borough from Ballymena council.

The award is the highest accolade the council can award a citizen.

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