Neeson takes out US citizenship


ACTOR LIAM Neeson has announced that he has become a US citizen as a result of an outpouring of sympathy for him following the death of his wife Natasha Richardson.

Neeson made the announcement during an interview with Diane Sawyer on ABC Television’s Good Morning America programme.

“I’m still getting extraordinary condolence messages from American people that are deeply touching. That’s partially the reason why I have become an American citizen,” he said.

Neeson said he was still a “proud Irishman” but he had been living in America for 20 years and the country had been “very, very good to me”.

He also said he was “very proud” to now be a US citizen.

Neeson’s wife died in March as a result of a skiing accident in Quebec, Canada. Ballymena-born Neeson is entitled to both Irish and British citizenship. Reports on the internet said he had an Irish passport.

Neeson said he and his two sons were “taking each day as it comes” and were lifted by the well-wishes of so many people.

He also paid tribute to Senator Edward Kennedy who he said had written a very “beautiful condolence” letter following the death of his wife.

“He was a special man. It is the end of an era,” he said. “I had a very clear memory of going to the Kennedy family homestead when I was 10 and posing for a photograph underneath the gable of their ancestral house with the American flag and the Irish flag,” he said.

Neeson is currently in the United States publicising his latest film Five Minutes of Heaven. It is based on the true story of former UVF man Alistair Little, who shot dead a Catholic when he was 17.

Mr Little repented of his violent life and now works in conflict transformation around the world. The movie opens in selected US cinemas on August 21st.