Kiefer Sutherland shared a candid anecdote about The Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan on Friday night's Late Late Show.

The iconic Hollywood star, well known for his role as Jack Bauer in the hit TV series 24, at first regaled the audience with his love of Ireland and his memories travelling here.

He said: "For the rest of the world, this is a magical place, I think people who live here might take it for granted. For me, the greatest storytellers in the world come from here. That's what I love about songwriting and about acting, is the storytelling.

"The only trip that I've ever taken, on my own and with no agenda, not with work or anything, was to Dublin. I travelled from Dublin down to Dingle, up to Galway, to Limerick and back to Dublin. It took about four weeks because I tried to stop in one pub in every town. I have to say, the people that I met along the way, again I was on my own, were so generous and so kind, and every one of them asking why on earth are you here!"

Sutherland went on to recall a night out at Dublin's Lillies Bordello back in the day, when he bumped into Sinead O'Connor, Van Morrison, Ronnie Wood and Shane MacGowan having a drink. 

He opened up the anecdote by saying: "The times I spent in Dublin were just too funny to ignore."

"It's a memory that will never leave me", he continued. "I went into a club back in the early '90s called Lillies Bordello, it was one of the rare places that would stay open quite late, like two or three in the morning. So I went in for a drink, and I'd had a few drinks already, and in the back of the bar there was a table set up and there was a group having dinner and the group was Sinead O'Connor, Van Morrison, Ronnie Wood and Shane MacGowan.

"That's something you're never going to see. I knew Ronnie so he invited me up to say hello and I introduced myself. I couldn't help but noticing that Sinead O'Connor was drinking milk and everybody else was not.

"I sat down and the cardinal mistake of politics and the history of politics started being discussed, and Shane MacGowan, who I did not know, he and I did not share a similar view on the history of Scotland. And before you know it, the two of us were fighting. We were rolling around on the floor and I remember Van Morrison laughing.

"I won't get into the fight, but it ended. And I got up and I said 'I'm embarrassed, I'm very sorry' and I walked away. And Shane MacGowan at that time had a cast on his arm that looked as well lived in as anything that I'd ever seen. So fighting just seemed unfair.

"So I excused myself and went to the bar and had a drink and hours later, the bar's almost empty, and I get a tap on my shoulder. And it's Shane MacGowan. He says 'I need a place to stay.' I said 'You've got to be kidding me, three hours ago we were fighting on the floor'.

He said 'That was three hours ago, now I need a place to stay.' I said 'What about your mates?' He said 'They're gone'.

The actor continued: "I was so impressed with his directness so I asked him to have a last drink, we walked back to my hotel, I got out bunch of blankets and made a bed for him on the couch and he went to sleep and I went to sleep.

"I got up in the morning expecting him to still be there because it was quite early, and all the blankets were perfectly folded, you couldn't have done it better, the pillow was on top of the blankets, and I looked over to the desk, there was a note that he had written on the hotel stationary.

"And it was the most beautiful letter I'd ever read, it was like poetry. And it was just a thank you note, but it was so generous, and the things he had to say about me and our night and humanity. It was quite long."

Sutherland concluded: "I've still got the letter to this day, and it changed my perspective, don't judge a book by it's cover and very rarely trust first encounters."

The Late Late Show airs Friday nights at 9.35pm on RTÉ One.