President Michael D Higgins has wished Bob Dylan a happy birthday as the iconic musician celebrates his 80th year.

In a letter paying tribute to Dylan, Higgins praised his musical and political achievements.

The letter was posted online by Áras an Uachtaráin on Monday.

President Higgins wrote: "Dear Bob, a chara,

"As one 80-year-old to another, and as one poet to another, I felt I should share with you my view that the best poem on an 80-year-old is William Wordsworth's poem Michael, which deals with the consequences of the enclosures in England in the 18th century, and their making of a working-class of men, women and children for the factory system at the cost of intimate rural life. I feel it’s a beautiful work and would love sometime to talk to you about it.

"In 2016, I said of you: 'Bob Dylan’s linking of the American folk tradition to moral, economic and political challenges has been a significant achievement and the appeal of his music has been inter-generational. His lyrics, with their rhythms, have linked followers of country, jazz and rock to counter-cultural and politically engaged movements. In doing this, he has narrowed the space between the poetic, the musical and the political.’ My opinion hasn’t changed."

He added: "Keep going. Good luck with everything. Traoslaím leat (I congratulate you). Beir Bua (May victory be yours)."

Read more: To mark Bob Dylan's 80th birthday, Alan Corr looks back at the life and times of music's Shakespeare

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