President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins has revealed more than a month after he was released from the hospital that he suffered a “mild stroke” in February.

President Higgins, who turned 83 on April 18, discussed his health in a wide-ranging interview with The Irish Times that was published on Wednesday, April 24.

It was the President's first interview since he was hospitalized on February 29.

“Oh, my little episode?” President Higgins said when asked about his health and hospitalization in the new interview.

“I’m fine now. What I had was a form of mild stroke.

"It didn’t affect my cognitive abilities. It affected simply my motor side, which was on the left-hand side.”

The President added: “My left hand is fully back.

"But [the stroke] somehow exacerbated stuff that I had in my lower back. I’m getting that fixed in the next week.”

The Irish Times noted that the President "seems keen to dispel any notion that he is anything other than on the mend, even if he is clearly a little frailer."

Higgins, who was elected as President of Ireland in 2011 and re-elected in 2018, will conclude his second and final seven-year term in 2025.

Later on Wednesday, President Higgins told reporters that his prognosis is "very good."

"Another couple of weeks I will be completely recovered," he said.

"By that, I mean that what I had was, as I said before, a mild stroke but confined to my left side which affected my left hand, for example, my left hip."

Waving his left hand, Higgins continued: "This is 90% where it is now.

"They told me in another two, three weeks, I'll be completing my course with St. James's in another couple of weeks time.

"But it had the effect, too, of exacerbating some difficulties I've had with my lower back which will be dealt with next week."

Though it announced and provided updates on his hospitalization, Áras an Uachtaráin never mentioned the President's "mild stroke," only that he had "experienced a mild transient weakness."

On Thursday, February 29, Áras an Uachtaráin confirmed that President Higgins had been brought to hospital for “precautionary tests” after he felt "unwell." 

The President was initially assessed at Áras an Uachtaráin where no immediate concerns were identified, the statement said, but a decision was made to proceed to hospital to undergo tests, the initial results of which were "positive."

Áras an Uachtaráin said at the time that Higgins was in “excellent spirits.”

In an update the next day, Áras an Uachtaráin said: “Following tests which were carried out after his admission, the President will remain in hospital over the weekend in order to monitor his blood pressure. 

“It is anticipated that the President will return to Áras an Uachtaráin early next week.”

On Monday evening, March 4, Áras an Uachtaráin said the results of the President's medical tests at St. James's Hospital had "been positive” and indicated “no serious or long-term concerns” for his health.

The statement added: “The tests have determined that the President experienced a mild transient weakness from which they expect him to make a full recovery.

“Following consultation with his medical team, President Higgins has agreed with their recommendation that he remain in hospital for an extra few days in order that they can monitor his blood pressure.

"He will return to Áras an Uachtaráin on Thursday [March 7]."

President Higgins remained in "excellent spirits" and continued to carry out his constitutional duties, including the consideration of two pieces of legislation, the statement said.

It added: "The President’s medical team have further advised that he put a limit on the extent of the public engagements which he undertakes over the coming weeks in order to facilitate the short period of recuperation that they have recommended.”

On Thursday, March 7, President Higgins returned to Áras an Uachtaráin following his discharge from St. James’s Hospital.

The President was in Manchester this week where he was conferred with an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Manchester, where he was previously a postgraduate student, on Tuesday evening.

President Higgins was this evening conferred with an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Manchester at the Whitworth Art Gallery. The President previously attended the University as a postgraduate student from 1968 to 1971

— President of Ireland (@PresidentIRL) April 23, 2024