Updated: 19/03/2013 15:01 | By Copyright (c) WENN 2013, All Rights Reserved., www.wenn.com
Liam Neeson named Irish Man of the Year in New York

New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn presents Liam Neeson with the Thomas Manton Irish Man of the Year Award



New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn presents Liam Neeson with the Thomas Manton Irish Man of the Year Award - 1 (© © WENN)
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Liam Neeson was the toast of Irish New Yorkers on Monday (18Mar13) when he was handed a special award from the speaker of the local City Council.

The Taken actor beamed as politician Christine C. Quinn handed him the Thomas Manton Irish Man of the Year Award, named after the late Irish-American Democrat congressman.

A nervous Neeson, who hails from Ballymena, admitted to the crowd at the City Hall in New York that he was terrified of speaking in public, revealing, "There's a popular assumption that actors are very good public speakers. It's absolute B.S. (bulls**t). It's actually my worst nightmare."

"I'm delighted and thrilled to be here... Let me say what an honour it is to accept this Irish Man Of The Year Award. I'm humbled to join a distinguished group of past Manton award recipients, (including U.S.) Senators Ted Kennedy, George Mitchell...

"Tonight is a great example of the Irish-American tradition for commitment to public service, the Irish-American commitment to community and helping others. I'm truly humbled, so thank you."

However, the prizegiving was bittersweet for the star - the event fell on the fourth anniversary of his wife's death. Actress Natasha Richardson passed away after a skiing accident in Canada in 2009.

It's not the first prestigious honour Neeson has picked up this year (13) - he was awarded the freedom of Ballymena in January (13).

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