A Cork-based freelance journalist has apologised for mistakingly describing Irish President Michael D Higgins as an “acknowledged homosexual” in an article written for US business magazine, Forbes.
The journalist, David Monagan, described the error as 'the worst mistake of his life', after he described President Higgins as a poet and an 'acknowledged homosexual'. The article itself, which was published on the website of internationally renowned Forbes magazine, was withdrawn hours later after the mistake was realised.
The piece was written on the recent appointment of Irish-born diplomat Samantha Power as the ambassador to the United Nations. Commenting on the influence her Irish heritage would have on her new position, Mr Monagan spoke of the country's history of strong liberal politicians, citing Mary McAleese and Mary Robinson before apparently mistaking President Higgins for one-time presidential candidate and senator, David Norris.
While Forbes magazine and David Monagan have issued apologies, a withdrawal of the piece, and an investigation into how the misstep was overlooked, Aras an Uachtarain has remained silent since the remarkable error was reported. Forbes also confirmed that it would be issuing an appropriate apology to the presidential office separately.
Mr Monagan, a US-born freelance journalist who has resided in Ireland for the past 13 years, is a regular contributor to Forbes' online presence in the form of a blog entitled 'Letter from Ireland' in which he reports on topical Irish news for the US public. Monagan's portfolio includes articles written for The Irish Times, the Sunday Times, the Boston Globe, and the New York Times. He has said that the article was under deadline pressure from his employers, however he cannot understand how the error managed to evade detection until after it was put up on the popular site.