President Michael D Higgins will make his first official visit to NUI Galway this afternoon when he formally opens the Irish Centre for Autism.

The centre is committed to improving the lives of children, adolescents and adults diagnosed with autism and other neurodevelopment conditions.

It will also be at the forefront of innovative scientific research. Earlier this year, NUIG hosted Ireland's first international conference on autism.

President Higgins enrolled at NUIG as a mature student 50 years ago.

He will attend a civic reception in his honour at Galway County Council later this evening.