Belfast Telegraph

Liam Neeson surprise visit for Slemish College pupils in Ballymena

By Nevin Farrell

Hollywood action hero Liam Neeson was back at school yesterday in his home town of Ballymena.

The Taken star made a surprise guest appearance at the town's integrated secondary school, Slemish College, as it marked its 20th anniversary.

Neeson joined principal Paul McHugh and head pupils Connor Lunnun and Abigail Fletcher to cut a special cake in the shape of the Larne Road school building.

He posed for selfies with pupils and was swamped by delighted fans.

Dr McHugh has been at the school since it opened in 1996 and is a passionate advocate of integrated education - as is Neeson.

The Star Wars actor (63) grew up in Corlea Gardens in Ballymena's Demesne estate and was educated at St Patrick's Secondary School in the town, which is now St Patrick's College.

"He seemed to really enjoy the visit," Grace Anderson, a senior leader at Slemish College told the BBC.

"He was lovely throughout and could not have been kinder or more accommodating to the pupils. He was very generous in how much time he gave to the students."

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