Mortified: writer who called Irish president gay
An American journalist has been forced into a grovelling apology after withdrawing his false assertion in one of the world's most influential magazines that the Irish president is gay.
David Monagan wrongly called President Michael D Higgins an "acknowledged homosexual" in Forbes Magazine, a prestigious US business publication.
It would have come as something of a shock for Mr Higgins, who has been happily married to his actress wife, Sabina, since 1974.
Within hours of publishing the article, the author admitted he had made a "terrible" mistake and apologised for what he called "the worst mistake of his career".
The Cork-based author said: "The story is that I made a mistake, for which I apologise from my heart. It was under deadline pressure and it is inexcusable.
"I have written millions of words about Ireland," he added. "I made a terrible mistake and I apologise to Michael D Higgins who I have respect for."
Mr Higgins, variously described as a poet, sociologist, author and broadcaster, has four children with his wife.