Irish President Michael D Higgins gave a sombre televised interview but it was his dog who stole the show.

Higgins, 80, was paying tribute to late Irish actor Tom Hickey. In an effort, perhaps, to bring some levity to the situation, the President’s adorable Burmese Mountain Dog, Misneach, munched on its owner’s hand.

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Higgins tried to fend off his dog’s advances by feeding it a mouthful of hand while continuing his address. A video of the exchange, posted by RTE’s Arts and Media correspondent Sinéad Crowley, captured the public’s imagination, amassing 1.4 million views in one day.

“There was a lot going on in our @rtenews interview yesterday,” Crowley captioned the post.

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Amusingly, you can’t see the dog in the actual broadcast footage.

Misneach — which translates as “Courage” in Gaeilge — is one of the President’s two Burmese who live with him. The dog was adopted into the family in March.