As Ireland approaches a general election, abortion is emerging as a key political issue for the majority Catholic country.
And actor Liam Neeson, one of Ireland’s most high-profile exports, has caused quite a stir in his homeland by firmly picking a side on the issue.
Neeson has lent his famously authoritarian voice to a pro-choice ad that many have described as “anti-Catholic”.
The ad, commissioned by Amnesty International, is called ‘Chains’ and criticises Ireland’s Eighth Amendment, which makes it almost impossible for a woman to have an abortion legally in the country.
“A ghost haunts Ireland,” Neeson says in the ad. “A cruel ghost of the last century, still bound to the land. It blindly brings suffering, even death, to the women whose lives it touches.”
“Make no mistake, the forces of secularisation and abortion know who their enemy is, it is the one institution that stands for a radical commitment to love and the sacredness of human life,” he wrote.
The editor of National Right to Life News, Dave Andrusko, hypothesised that the “ghost” the ad speaks of is actually a reference to the Catholic church.
“The whole point of the ad is that the Church– the Catholic Church– is outdated and abandoned by the people and therefore its evil, outdated influence on the Constitution must be removed.,” he wrote.
Neeson is yet to comment on the backlash but it has been pointed out the actor was raised Catholic and actually named after his local priest.