President Michael D Higgins has said his wife Sabina "changed my life in so many ways" and says the couple "are so looking forward to meeting our grandchild" when restrictions are lifted.

Speaking on Friday's Late Late Show, Mr Higgins, who turns 80 this Sunday, lavished praise on his spouse of almost fifty years, saying "what Sabina brought into my life is inestimable".

The couple wed in 1974 and have four children together - Alice Mary, twins John and Michael Jr. and son Daniel.

Mr Higgins said: "What Sabina brought into my life is inestimable.

"She changed my life in so many ways and introduced me to such great friends in the theatre and the arts and so on.

"I've been gifted with friendship. I've had fabulous friendships. I only hope that I continue to give something back to them."

He added that he and his wife are looking forward to spending some quality time with their granddaughter once restrictions lift and it is safe to do so.

"Sabina and I are so looking forward to meeting our grandchild. My son John, and Eva his wife, and Fiadh, our granddaughter they're in Wicklow. I'm looking forward to when Covid is over to meeting them."

Mr Higgins and Sabina wed in a Dublin wedding back in 1974

During the candid chat, Ryan Tubridy poked fun at Mr Higgins' rock 'n' roll days and made reference to his denim attire and 'man sandals' which he sported to Bob Dylan's concert at Slane Castle in 1984.

"I think that was my last navy silk shirt...that I wasn't wearing," he laughed.

However, Mr Higgins admits "there were no regrets" before adding, "Oh no, there are none at all."

Of course, Tubridy had to ask about the new arrival to Áras an Uachtaráin - Misneach, a six-month-old Bernese mountain dog.

"He'll be seven months old on May 5th. He's been nipping but that's a phase that dogs go through and there are ways to deal with it in a kind way."

Referring to pooches and other furry friends bought throughout the pandemic, Mr Higgins said he hopes people are responsible and "look after them now".

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Viewers took to social media in their droves to praise the interview and to wish the President of Ireland well wishes ahead of him turning the big 8-0 over the weekend.

You can watch the full interview on the RTÉ Player