"In his vast and impressive body of work, Liam Neeson has accomplished achievement after achievement in a variety of roles and interpretations that have left a profound impact on the landscape of worldwide cinema", President Higgins said.
He said: "When you're doing a play with your family, other actors and technicians - you do silly things". I'm not saying I did similar things, apparently he touched a girl's breast, but it's childhood stuff'.
Hoffman has been accused of groping actresses when he was on the set of Death of a Salesman in the 1980s.
The actor said the sexual allegations sweeping through Hollywood and the #MeToo movement have created "a bit of a witch hunt".
Asked about the issue, Neeson, 65, told The Late Late Show on RTE: "There is a bit of a witch hunt happening too".
"He immediately removed his hand and apologised, and she said: "Don't worry about it, forget about it.' They then went their separate ways".
"Months later, the radio station gets a call from a lawyer saying that [Keillor] inappropriately touched this lady".
I think Dustin Hoffman was...
"I was reading recently about him", he said.
Playwright Cori Thomas accused him of exposing himself to her in a NY hotel room in 1980, when she was 16.
Neeson's comments come a day after he criticised the gender wage gap in Hollywood as "fucking disgraceful", while at the same time admitting he wouldn't take a pay cut so his female co-stars could be paid more. The focus seems to be on Hollywood at the moment, but it's across every industry.
Neeson said he was "very humbled" to be honoured by President Higgins and that he would continue to "fly the flag for Irish arts" and to continue his work as a goodwill ambassador with UNICEF. And I get sent facts and figures and stuff - and if you've read the stuff I've read about how female labourers are being treated in farms, ranches and all the rest of it, it's chilling".