Renowned financial magazine Forbes has apologised to the President for publishing an article which described him as gay.
The New York-based business bible, famed for its rich list, claimed Michael D Higgins was an “acknowledged homosexual” in a piece on its website yesterday.
“Both Forbes and the author of the post David Monagan sincerely regret the error. Forbes is issuing an apology to President Higgins in a separate correspondence,” the magazine said.
President Higgins, who has four children and is married to his actress wife Sabina, featured in an article Monagan wrote about the US nominee for ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power.
Forbes said the piece which was online for several hours yesterday contained a “serious error”.
Eamon Gilmore, Ireland’s deputy prime minister and a former colleague of President Higgins in the Labour Party, said the fact that the story was pulled speaks for itself.
“I understand it was online and it was taken down – I think that tells us everything we need to know about that article,” he said.
“It’s probably more a source of embarrassment for the journalist who wrote it than for anyone else.”
Monagan, originally from the US but based in Co Cork, is part of Forbes.com’s contributor network.
The article did not go to print.
The article on Ms Power, originally from Ireland, looked back at past presidents of the country.
It stated: “The current president of Ireland, Michael D Higgins, is a poet, acknowledged homosexual and nearly as outspoken as his predecessors.”
Monagan has said the mistake was the biggest error of his professional life.
It is understood a letter is being sent by Forbes senior management in New York to the President’s office in Aras an Uachtarain in Dublin.
A spokesman for the President declined to comment on the controversy.