Liam Neeson worries he has PTSD from witnessing so much violence during his childhood

Liam Neeson

Hollywood legend Liam Neeson worries that he may have a form of PTSD from witnessing so much violence during his childhood.

The Michael Collins actor grew up in Ballymena, Co Antrim, and was unfortunate to witness domestic violence when he was a youngster.

The houses were close together and the walls were thin. This meant Neeson was able to hear anger and violence coming from next door on a regular basis.

He said: “When I was growing up, in these little terrace houses, I remember hearing our neighbour next door being beat up by her drunken husband every weekend.

“He’s dead now, but that’s a memory I am still coming to terms with. I’m talking 50 years ago. It’s kind of a post-traumatic stress disorder.”

Neeson had to be tough as a youngster and learned to box from an early age.

He said: “I was an amateur boxer as a kid, from the ages of nine until 17. There’s guys I boxed with who died tragically during the Troubles in the north of Ireland. I remember them.”

The Taken star has even thought that this may have influenced his career and being a subconscious reason he may have picked some of his more violent roles.

He added: “I don’t know if it has scarred me, but it has definitely formed something of my character. Maybe even when I play these violent roles, I’m trying to bring some quality of redemption or justice.”

As well as domestic violence, Neeson also had to contend with growing up during the Troubles, when the threat of violence was a part of everyday life.

He said: “This past weekend was the 50th anniversary of what is known as Bloody Sunday, when British paratroopers murdered 13 of our people in the streets of Derry, in the north of Ireland.

“And I remember the next day, when everything was incredibly quiet and very, very sinister. I lived in Belfast during a lot of that. And I think back on it now. Why did I survive that?

“If you’re raised in those circumstances, surrounded by potential political violence, it really shapes you moving forward. It lodges in the bone. It does.”

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Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcallingJoin our community