Liam Neeson has slammed New York Mayor Bill de Blasio for his announcement that he will publish a bill aimed at driving the horse and carriage operators out of Central Park.

The Irish-born “Taken” star has been a longtime supporter of the carriage industry which is heavily Irish with an estimated 60 of the 300 drivers from Irish backgrounds.

Neeson stated: “The Central Park carriage drivers woke up Monday morning to learn that the Mayor decided to take away their jobs and make them cab drivers without ever consulting with them or so much as step into a stable.

“Deciding to strip these hard working New Yorkers of their livelihoods in the dark of night is unconscionable; undermining their stability and future.”

He also stated: “Mayor de Blasio certainly has his hands full. He is tackling sensitive and delicate issues with leadership, and he IS a leader, however...

“New York City’s historic and beloved horse carriage industry—overwhelmingly supported by New Yorkers and tourists alike should be celebrated, not destroyed.

“The carriage drivers have won the hearts and minds of people worldwide, they have New York City behind them, are ready to fight and will continue their tradition in Central Park for generations to come and I will continue to proudly stand with them.”

Neeson who lives near the park has a long term relationship with the drivers. He had previously called on de Blasio to meet him and the drivers but the mayor refused.

Here's video from a press conference earlier this year, shot by Sandi Higgins Bachom, who is making a documentary about the carriage drivers: 

"Taken" star Liam Neeson says de Blasio is taking away livelihoods of hard working New Yorkers.Irish Voice Newspaper