Liam Neeson tours stables amid New York carriage horse debate

Dray Clark has more from the West Side.
March 9, 2014 4:10:22 PM PDT
Actor Liam Neeson and city council members visited the stables that hold the carriage horses in Manhattan Sunday.

The actor disagrees with Mayor Bill de Blasio's plans to do away with the horses that stroll through Central Park.

De Blasio said throughout his campaign, that he would ban the carriages if he was elected.

Liam Neeson toured the stables for about an hour taking pictures and shaking hands, as well as talking to the owners and operator.

Neeson arrived Sunday afternoon to a camera frenzy as he prepared to take the walking tour along with the City Council members. Not very many council members actually showed up for the tour ? maybe less than a handful.

Neeson says he believes Mayor de Blasio's decision to cut the industry should be considered criminal, and that the mayor is using bad information to make the decision. De Blasio believes it is inhumane to have the horses operating in a modern day city like New York, and wants to replace the horses with electric cars.

Eyewitness News reporter Dray Clark talked to Neeson about why he is standing side-by-side with the industry.

"I know these guys. In the park for over 20 years, I see the joy that these tourists get," said Neeson, "I'm firm about the fact that we have to make this move."

De Blasio also plans to tour the Clinton Park horse stables at some point, but he says his mind is made up.

"I respect Liam Neeson a lot. I'm a big fan of his work. But the fact is I've put forward a plan and a vision, and the people ratified it in a election, and that's what mattered most," de Blasio said Saturday. "What we do want to do, and we've said this repeatedly, is work with the carriage operators to find a good path for them individually going forward. Other job opportunities for them. They would get first dibs on those job opportunities. We have to put together all the pieces."