In time for Saint Patrick's Day Irish A-Lister Liam Neeson has been named Ireland's greatest actor.

The 59-year-old Ballymena-born actor saw off stiff competition in two separate polls for Sky Movies and Lovefilm, which also had Irish favorites Colin Farrell and Pierce Brosnan in the running.

The go-to leading man for the world's top directors, Neeson's roles have included his unforgettable turns in the leads in Schindler's List and Michael Collins, the Star Wars prequel The Phantom Menace and as the voice of Aslan in the Narnia franchise.

The Sky Movies poll - held in association with its Irish actors season to be broadcast on Saturday and Sunday - saw Neeson win a whopping fifth of all the votes. In second place was Lawrence of Arabia star Peter O'Toole, followed by Farrell in third and Brosnan in fourth place.

Meanwhile on the streaming and rental service Lovefilm Farrell was placed as a runner-up with Michael Fassbender coming third and Brendan Gleeson coming fourth.

Ian Lewis, director of Sky Movies, told the Irish Independent: 'Liam Neeson has shown why he is one of the most trusted and versatile actors of our time. Audiences continue to warm to his films and will no doubt flock to see him in Battleship and Wrath Of The Titans.'

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