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Liam Neeson (70) says he expects to see a United Ireland in his lifetime

The star thinks a United Ireland “could happen” as long as the views of Protestants are “respected.”

Actor Liam Neeson

Maeve McTaggartSunday World

Liam Neeson (70) has revealed he expects to see a United Ireland become a reality in his lifetime.

“I think it’ll happen. I think Britain will be pleased,” the actor told Sky News. “They don’t have to put £50 billion into the Northern Ireland Exchequer every year… I think that’s what it costs now.

"I think it could happen. But everybody has to be appeased.”

The Taken star said he hears the perspective of Protestants in Northern Ireland, but believes there is a way to strike a balance.

“The Protestants in the North of Ireland have a strong voice. I hear them, I know where they're coming from, and they have to be respected.

"If there's going to be a united Ireland, their voice has to be heard and they have to be represented, if a united Ireland comes about.”

Neeson admitted he was “just in a bubble” during most of The Troubles as he was young and wrapped up in his acting career.

"There were a couple of nights where the theatre would get a telephone call to be told there's a bomb, and we'd have to go out onto the street with the audience, and the soldiers came in and searched, and maybe an hour I say, okay, you can go back in again.

"It was dangerous but I guess because of my age and because I loved what I was doing, I was just in a bubble."

His “rude awakening” came when thirteen people were killed and at least 15 were injured when members of the British army’s Parachute Regiment opened fire on civil rights demonstrators on Bloody Sunday.

The star also praised the “extraordinary achievement” of the Good Friday Agreement, saying: “There was just a feeling in the air, you know, of change – and change for good.”

He had choice words for Stormont politicians however, telling them to “get back to work.”

"They're representing the people of the North of Ireland - get back to work. You're drawing the salary still.”

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