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Funeral of Liam Neeson's mother Kitty held in Ballymena

Mourners lined the streets of Ballymena on Tuesday to pay respects to Kitty Neeson, the mother of movie star Liam.

Waterford-born Mrs Neeson passed away peacefully at the age of 94 on Saturday in Slemish Nursing Home after being ill for some months.

A family notice described her as the beloved wife of the late Barney, and mother to Elizabeth, Bernadette, Liam and Rosaleen as well as a devoted grandmother and great-grandmother.

The funeral service was strictly private and family members followed a cortege from Henry’s Funeral Parlour on Broughshane Street before proceeding a short distance to Ballymena Cemetery.

Liam Neeson's beloved mum Kitty laid to rest - June 6 2020 [photos] Close

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th June 2020 -  

Friends and relatives pictured at the funeral of Kitty Neeson in Ballymena.  Catherine 'Kitty' Neeson, who was 94, passed away on Saturday at Slemish Nursing Home, the day before her son Liam's birthday.

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th June 2020 - Friends and relatives pictured at the funeral of Kitty Neeson in Ballymena. Catherine 'Kitty' Neeson, who was 94, passed away on Saturday at Slemish Nursing Home, the day before her son Liam's birthday. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th June 2020 -  

Members of the public join friends and relatives at the funeral of Kitty Neeson in Ballymena.  Catherine 'Kitty' Neeson, who was 94, passed away on Saturday at Slemish Nursing Home, the day before her son Liam's birthday.

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th June 2020 - Members of the public join friends and relatives at the funeral of Kitty Neeson in Ballymena. Catherine 'Kitty' Neeson, who was 94, passed away on Saturday at Slemish Nursing Home, the day before her son Liam's birthday. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th June 2020 -  

Members of the public join friends and relatives at the funeral of Kitty Neeson in Ballymena.  Catherine 'Kitty' Neeson, who was 94, passed away on Saturday at Slemish Nursing Home, the day before her son Liam's birthday.

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th June 2020 - Members of the public join friends and relatives at the funeral of Kitty Neeson in Ballymena. Catherine 'Kitty' Neeson, who was 94, passed away on Saturday at Slemish Nursing Home, the day before her son Liam's birthday. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

Friends and relatives pictured at the funeral of Kitty Neeson in Ballymena. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Friends and relatives pictured at the funeral of Kitty Neeson in Ballymena. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th June 2020 -  

Members of the public join friends and relatives at the funeral of Kitty Neeson in Ballymena.  Catherine 'Kitty' Neeson, who was 94, passed away on Saturday at Slemish Nursing Home, the day before her son Liam's birthday.

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th June 2020 - Members of the public join friends and relatives at the funeral of Kitty Neeson in Ballymena. Catherine 'Kitty' Neeson, who was 94, passed away on Saturday at Slemish Nursing Home, the day before her son Liam's birthday. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th June 2020 -  

Friends and relatives pictured at the funeral of Kitty Neeson in Ballymena.  Catherine 'Kitty' Neeson, who was 94, passed away on Saturday at Slemish Nursing Home, the day before her son Liam's birthday.

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th June 2020 - Friends and relatives pictured at the funeral of Kitty Neeson in Ballymena. Catherine 'Kitty' Neeson, who was 94, passed away on Saturday at Slemish Nursing Home, the day before her son Liam's birthday. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th June 2020 -  

Friends and relatives pictured at the funeral of Kitty Neeson in Ballymena.  Catherine 'Kitty' Neeson, who was 94, passed away on Saturday at Slemish Nursing Home, the day before her son Liam's birthday.

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th June 2020 - Friends and relatives pictured at the funeral of Kitty Neeson in Ballymena. Catherine 'Kitty' Neeson, who was 94, passed away on Saturday at Slemish Nursing Home, the day before her son Liam's birthday. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th June 2020 -  

Friends and relatives pictured at the funeral of Kitty Neeson in Ballymena.  Catherine 'Kitty' Neeson, who was 94, passed away on Saturday at Slemish Nursing Home, the day before her son Liam's birthday.

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th June 2020 - Friends and relatives pictured at the funeral of Kitty Neeson in Ballymena. Catherine 'Kitty' Neeson, who was 94, passed away on Saturday at Slemish Nursing Home, the day before her son Liam's birthday. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th June 2020 -  

Friends and relatives pictured at the funeral of Kitty Neeson in Ballymena.  Catherine 'Kitty' Neeson, who was 94, passed away on Saturday at Slemish Nursing Home, the day before her son Liam's birthday.

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th June 2020 - Friends and relatives pictured at the funeral of Kitty Neeson in Ballymena. Catherine 'Kitty' Neeson, who was 94, passed away on Saturday at Slemish Nursing Home, the day before her son Liam's birthday. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th June 2020 -  

Friends and relatives pictured at the funeral of Kitty Neeson in Ballymena.  Catherine 'Kitty' Neeson, who was 94, passed away on Saturday at Slemish Nursing Home, the day before her son Liam's birthday.

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th June 2020 - Friends and relatives pictured at the funeral of Kitty Neeson in Ballymena. Catherine 'Kitty' Neeson, who was 94, passed away on Saturday at Slemish Nursing Home, the day before her son Liam's birthday. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th June 2020 -  

Friends and relatives pictured at the funeral of Kitty Neeson in Ballymena.  Catherine 'Kitty' Neeson, who was 94, passed away on Saturday at Slemish Nursing Home, the day before her son Liam's birthday.

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th June 2020 - Friends and relatives pictured at the funeral of Kitty Neeson in Ballymena. Catherine 'Kitty' Neeson, who was 94, passed away on Saturday at Slemish Nursing Home, the day before her son Liam's birthday. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th June 2020 -  

Friends and relatives pictured at the funeral of Kitty Neeson in Ballymena.  Catherine 'Kitty' Neeson, who was 94, passed away on Saturday at Slemish Nursing Home, the day before her son Liam's birthday.

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th June 2020 - Friends and relatives pictured at the funeral of Kitty Neeson in Ballymena. Catherine 'Kitty' Neeson, who was 94, passed away on Saturday at Slemish Nursing Home, the day before her son Liam's birthday. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th June 2020 - Friends and relatives pictured at the funeral of Kitty Neeson in Ballymena. Catherine 'Kitty' Neeson, who was 94, passed away on Saturday at Slemish Nursing Home, the day before her son Liam's birthday. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

With social distancing in place, around 100 people stood along the street to show support to the family.

It had been reported her actor son had hoped to make the journey from New York to attend, despite restrictions on travel caused by Covid-19.

Although unable to be there, his sisters Elizabeth and Bernadette were among the close family present.

Mrs Neeson had worked as a school cook while her husband Barney (Bernard) who died in 1998 had worked as a school caretaker.

While she was pleasantly surprised by her shy son’s success as an actor, she had always been a natural people person and was photographed over the years with many famous faces such as the Pogues star Shane MacGowan, actors Jeremy Irons, Gabriel Byrne and Sir Roger Moore along with the Nobel-Prize winning poet Seamus Heaney.

In a 2016 interview, her son said of her: "She gets annoyed if she can't walk to Mass on Sunday morning, and I just think, 'Mum, you're 90. It's OK! God will forgive you'."

Mrs Neeson once travelled to Dublin in 1998 to collect an award on Liam’s behalf.

"He was such a quiet lad, I never knew it would turn out like this," she said at the time.

"I love people. I love talking. Not like Liam. He got his quiet ways from his father."

On her surprise at his career, she said: "He went to university but that didn't suit him.

"I didn't know much about it when he started acting. All I know is that he works very hard.”

In 2013, Mrs Neeson was by his side as he returned to given the freedom of his home town.

The loss of the actor’s mother follows the death of his wife Natasha Richardson who died in a skiing accident in Canada in 2009.

His nephew Ronan Sexton also passed away last year in Cushendall, five years after suffering a serious injury after falling from a telephone kiosk.

Belfast Telegraph