To date, there has only been one Irish-born 007 - Pierce Brosnan.

Yet while the Navan man gave an impressive performance as the most famous secret agent in pop culture, it could well have been another Irishman who played James Bond across those three films in the 1990s.

Liam Neeson has revealed that he was approached by Barbara Broccoli not long after his Oscar nomination for 'Schindler's List' in 1993. However, he ended up turning it down because his then-fiancee Natasha Richardson said that she wouldn't marry him if he took the role.

"I know the Broccolis. They looked at a bunch of actors," Neeson told Rolling Stone. "'Schindler’s List’ had come out and Barbara had called me a couple of times to ask if I was interested, and I said, ‘Yes, I would be interested.’ And then my lovely wife [Natasha Richardson], God rest her soul, said to me while we were shooting ‘Nell’ down in the Carolinas, ‘Liam, I want to tell you something: If you play James Bond, we’re not getting married.'"

He added: "She gave me a James Bond ultimatum. And she meant it! Come on, there’s all those gorgeous girls in various countries getting into bed and getting out of bed. I’m sure a lot of her decision-making was based on that!"

Neeson and Richardson were eventually married in 1994 until her tragic death in a skiing accident in 2009.

And Neeson, of course, would get his chance to star in a big-budget action thriller with the 'Taken' films. Not quite Bond, true, but better than nothing.