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FactCheck: Updates and corrections

Your point of reference for any changes or fixes to FactCheck articles.

ONE OF THE guiding principles behind The Journal‘s FactCheck is transparency and accountability.

So it’s only right that we apply that principle to ourselves.

This page contains our policy on corrections and updates to FactCheck articles, and a list of corrections and updates that have been made to previous fact checks.

It will be updated on a rolling basis.

Updates and Corrections policy

Occasionally, we will get things wrong. When that happens, we’ll say so.

If any significant information has been added to an article, that update will be briefly described at the bottom of the article. If there was a factual error, the error will be fixed and the correction will be briefly described at the bottom of the article.

If we change a verdict (either due to the discovery of an error or new information), we will explain that change in the article.

Updates and Corrections (last updated May 2024)

13 May, 2024

Debunked: The number of illegal immigrants in Ireland last year was not 10 times the EU average

Update: An earlier version of this article incorrectly included a percentage sign on the figure 0.28 in the tenth paragraph.

26 March, 2024

Debunked: ‘Ireland will change forever’ conspiracy meme is contradictory and nonsensical

Update: This article was amended on 26 March 2024 to confirm that Direct Democracy Ireland was in the process of re-branding to Liberty Republic.

16 October, 2023

FactCheck: Misleading claims about sex education found on leaflets about the SPHE curriculum

Correction: An earlier version of this article said that the words “pornography” or “consent” were not included in the Junior Cert curriculum, based on documents available on the NCCA website. The article has been updated to reflect that both words are included in an updated specification.

8 May, 2023

FactCheck: Is the Govt correct to claim that 400 people are buying their first home every week?

Correction: Following the publication of this article, the Taoiseach supplied The Journal with more detail about his statement.

The Taoiseach’s office said his figures came from the Banking & Payments Federation Ireland report for 2022 which showed first-time buyer drawdowns were over 400 per week average in the final quarter of 2022. The quarter one 2023 report also shows similarly strong data, with a weekly average of 426 drawdowns of mortgages by first-time buyers during the first three months of this year. 

After publishing, the verdict was changed in light of evidence available and the definition of ‘MOSTLY FALSE’ was changed to ‘TRUE’.

23 May, 2022

FactCheck: Is 10% of Ireland’s healthcare budget spent on diabetes?

Correction: Several hours after publishing, this article was edited on 21 May to correct a sentence which gave an inaccurate figure for the percentage of the HSE budget which was spent on health service use by people with diabetes aged 50 and over, according to some research on the subject. The error was introduced during the editing process. The correct figure is far less than 1% of the overall budget. 

19 November, 2021

FactCheck: Are vaccinated people are likely to transmit Covid-19 as non-vaccinated people? 

Correction: After publishing, this article was edited on 19 November to correct a sentence which gave inaccurate statistics for the likelihood of someone getting infected from a household contact. The correct figures are 25% for the secondary attack rate in fully vaccinated household contacts and 23% in unvaccinated contacts, not 25% and 38%. 

3 February, 2021

Debunked: Several claims about Covid-19 in a video featuring Dolores Cahill are false or misleading

Update: After publishing, a study on the effectiveness of an mRNA vaccine against Covid-19 in children was added to the US National Library of Medicine database. Lines at the bottom of ‘Claim 2′ were changed to reflect this, and to clarify that no such study was visible on the database at the time of publication. 

17 December, 2020

“FactCheck: Was Micheál Martin right to say that the banks were not bailed out in 2008?”

Correction: After publishing, a line which said the bank guarantee in 2008 was popularly known as the ‘bank bailout’ and which put the cost of the guarantee at €64 billion was changed to reflect the fact that this money was borrowed by the State by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund in 2010.

Lines in the introduction and in the initial outline of Martin’s claim, which suggested the bank guarantee and the subsequent recapitalisation of Irish banks were the same thing, were also corrected.

22 July, 2019

FactCheck: Trump’s false claims about Congresswoman Omar in continuing feud

Correction: The verdict for ‘CLAIM 1: Omar was married to her brother’ has been changed from UNPROVEN to FALSE. 

After publishing, the verdict was changed in light of evidence available and the definition of ‘UNPROVEN’.

30 April, 2019

“FactCheck: Was there a plan to close the Luas Green Line for up to four years to construct the Metrolink?”

CorrectionThe verdict for this fact check has been changed to Mostly TRUE, having originally been TRUE. 

Following the publication of the article, the National Transport Authority (NTA) released a report which had not yet been published when the article was written.

It added context to quotes provided by a spokesman for the NTA, showing that the four-year figure was based on the cumulative amount of time that parts of the line would be closed.

The article has been amended to include the relevant aspects of the report, including information about the closures, which contextualises the four-year claim.

24 March, 2017

“FactCheck: Are Catholic schools more socially diverse than other schools?”

CorrectionThe verdict for this fact check has been changed to Mostly TRUE, having originally been Mostly FALSE. 

After publication, Maria Steen contacted FactCheck with concerns about this article, many of which we agreed with, on reflection. 

She pointed out that pre-publication, Maria Steen had clarified that her claim about diversity was limited to three specific measures of diversity, relating to pupils: from lower socioeconomic groups; lone-parent families; and the Traveller community.

In its original format, this article also insufficiently examined 2016/17 Department of Education data on the proportion of Catholic and multi-denominational schools designated as DEIS schools. 

We re-examined that data, which shows that a greater proportion of Catholic primary schools are DEIS schools, and a comparable proportion of Catholic school pupils and multi-denominational school pupils are in DEIS schools. 

7 February, 2017

“FactCheck: Are Michael O’Leary and Ryanair right about Dublin Airport charges increasing?”

Correction: This article previously stated that “Since the DAA’s passenger charges are levied per passenger, an increase in passengers will inevitably equate to an increase in charges paid”.

An increase in charges paid is not, in fact, an inevitable consequence of an increase in passengers, but rather a likely one. The article has been amended to reflect this.

29 December, 2016

“FactCheck: You asked, we answered – how does Irish politicians’ pay compare to Europe?”

Correction: Previously, the first two charts in the article described data as relating to the salaries of “upper house” members of parliament. In fact, the data related to the salaries of lower house members of parliament, as was made clear in the body of the article itself.

27 November, 2016

“FactCheck: Are motor insurance claims and legal fees going up or down?”

Correction: Previously, this article in one instance named the President of the Law Society as Shane Gilhooly. The President of the Law Society is Stuart Gilhooly, as was correctly stated in another instance, elsewhere in the article.

5 November, 2016

“FactCheck: Does this year’s Budget include the biggest ever investment in health?”

Update: This article was revised to add an analysis of population change and per capita spending. 

6 October, 2016

“FactCheck: Does every other country in Europe have water charges?”

Correction: Due to an error, the verdict on this article was previously stated as ‘Mostly FALSE’. It is, in fact, Mostly TRUE.

27 September, 2016

“FactCheck: Did the last government cut payments to lone parents?”

Correction: This article previously stated that Leo Varadkar was interviewed on Morning Ireland by Cathal Mac Coille. It was, in fact, Gavin Jennings who conducted the interview.

21 September, 2016

“FactCheck: Has no government minister ever gone before the Public Accounts Committee?”

Update: This article was updated to reflect the fact that Michael Noonan had, by time of publication, agreed to come before the Public Accounts Committee on 6 October. 

12 September, 2016

“FactCheck: No, the reported side effects of the HPV vaccine do NOT outweigh the proven benefits”

Update: This article was updated to include the fact that the cervical cancer rate among women in Ireland is one in 115, according to the latest figures (2013).

Correction: This article was amended with the correct spelling of the HPV vaccine Cervarix. We previously wrongly referred to it as “Cervatrix”.

10 September, 2016

“FactCheck: Who got it right on “abortion up to birth” – Cora Sherlock or Ivana Bacik?”

Update: This article was updated to include Ireland among those countries where abortion is legal at any stage in a pregnancy, albeit under strictly limited circumstances.

This is consistent with the criteria applied in the inclusion of certain other countries. 

The charts were also updated to reflect this addition, and we added the fact that in half of the jurisdictions studied, abortion is legal any stage only to protect the life or health of a woman.

Send your FactCheck requests to’s FactCheck is a signatory to the International Fact-Checking Network’s Code of Principles. You can read it here.

For information on how FactCheck works, what the verdicts mean, and how you can take part, check out our Reader’s Guide here

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