Irish acting legend Liam Neeson is to be honoured at the 2016 IFTA awards. 

The Ballymena native is to be presented with an IFTA for his 'Outstanding Contribution to Cinema'. President Michael D. Higgins will present the award to Neeson at the ceremony on April 9th. 

Commenting on the award, Neeson said: "I am honored and humbled to be recognized by the Irish Academy with this award, especially when I am following in the footsteps of an illustrious group of Irish filmmakers before me such as Boorman, Jordan, O'Hara and Sheridan. I look forward to coming to Dublin to celebrate with our home industry and with my colleagues and friends."

Áine Moriarty, Chief Executive of IFTA said: "I'm delighted that Liam Neeson is to receive this Award from the Irish Academy on April 9th. Liam is a luminary of film whose outstanding talent, craft and skill as an actor, along with his enormous achievements in the world of cinema, has made him an inspiration to young Irish filmmakers and actors coming through the ranks in our home industry today. We look forward to welcoming Liam back home to acknowledge and celebrate his achievements."

The award is to recognise the outstanding career Neeson has had at home and abroad which has seen him depict real life characters such as Michael Collins, Alfred Kinsey and Oskar Schindler as well as tackle Hollywood blockbusters like the Star Wars and Batman franchises.