Ballymoney mayor rubs shoulders with Hollywood superstar

BALLYMONEY Mayor Evelyne Robinson has been mixing in the company of a Hollywood superstar.

Cllr Robinson attended the recent gala dinner to mark the ‘Freedom of the Borough of Ballymena’ being offered to world-renowned actor Liam Neeson.

As the mayor of a neighbouring borough, Cllr Robinson was invited to the event by Ballymena ‘First Citizen’, Alderman PJ McAvoy.

Cllr Robinson sat beside North Antrim MP, Ian Paisley, at the swish dinner and also at her table was the BBC’s Mark Carruthers who doubles as a leading figure in the world of the arts in Northern Ireland.

Neeson grew up in Corlea Gardens in the centre of Ballymena and attended St Patrick’s (now College) in the town before going on to carve out a name for himself as a global box office star but upon his return to his home town he was very down-to-earth, said Cllr Robinson.

She said: “It was a great day. Liam Neeson spoke to the waiting crowds and when he came into the foyer there was quite a crowd. He stood up and spoke to us.

“We had been requested not to ask him for his autograph or approach him to speak to him so I abided by that but he was very pleasant and very affable and spoke very well. He was obviously delighted to be in Ballymena and he has a particular fondness and dedication to Ballymena. He was looking very relaxed.

“He spoke very sincerely and was not the least bit a ‘big star’. He was very very nice and it was a lovely day,” said Mayor Robinson.