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Saturday, 3 November 2018

The Irish Examiner published a letter to the editor with two false claims about candidate Michael D Higgins on the morning of the presidential vote.

The Irish Examiner published a letter to the editor with two false claims about candidate Michael D Higgins on the morning of the presidential vote.

Readers' Blog: Higgins helps presidency in losing its religion Friday, October 26, 2018 - 12:00 AM
Not one presenter during radio and/or TV presidential election debates has thought to ask (particularly President Higgins) about their (his) religious beliefs, regarding the swearing of presidential oath of office on a holy book, while maintaining atheistic beliefs, and also being the guardian of Bunreacht na h√Čireann, the Constitution, which has references to God and the Holy Trinity within its wording.
That's because they asked him the first time he ran for the presidency and he answered then, Miriam O'Callaghan asked him if he believed in God during the 2011 RTE Prime Time debate (at 15 minutes) and he said "Yes, I'm a believer" and that he would have no problem swearing the oath the is required to, to be President. He is not an atheist, its a myth.

That is the first false, check-able claim.

The letter writer continues,
Alone among first citizens of Christian nations across Europe, President Michael D Higgins has omitted any reference to Jesus Christ or God in his annual Christmas messages all during his seven years in office.
A Christmas and New Year's Message from President Michael D. Higgins 2015
Date: Sun 20th Dec, 2015
As we reflect on the story of Christmas and the birth of Jesus, on the plight of the homeless Joseph and Mary anticipating the birth of their child, and how they were aided by complete strangers, we can perhaps draw inspiration from what they experienced for our own lives and times. More than anything, the Christmas story gives us guidance on how to shape our own shared humanity with a regard for future generations. This year in particular, we welcome the acceptance of new obligations by nation states in relation to global poverty and climate change.

That's a second false, check-able claim.

The letter writer continues,
Surely the voters of Ireland should be reminded of this ‘religions omission’ by President Higgins before they go to the ballot box today?
Surely the voters of Ireland shouldn't read false claims about President Higgins published by the Irish Examiner the day they go to the ballot box.

The Irish Examiner should fact check letters to editor and not publish letters based entirely on false claims.
Code of Practice for Newspapers and Magazines Chairman of the Press Council
and the Press Ombudsman January 2014
It is important to remember that editors are responsible for all the material in their print editions and
material that has been posted to the web as part of editorial policy and as the result of an editorial
decision. This includes photographs, cartoons, news agency material, freelance contributors and
readers’ letters.

A message of complaint was sent but there has been no reply or clarification.

ETA The Irish Examiner call its readers blog 'ethical' in their post inviting readers to Have your say on our Readers' Blog

The readers blog has been developed to facilitate the publication of constructive and ethical comment and opinion from a range of perspectives and viewpoints.

Only submissions which contribute to that goal will be considered.

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