Mike Galway wrote:
very happy to see that we have an atheist in the office
"We don't know" has to be the only honest answer we can give. Higgins has made very clear his aspiration that the Irish state and Irish society should be inclusive, and this certainly extends to atheism. A few people have tried to leverage this into a claim that Higgins himself is, or may be, atheist but to be honest I think there's more wishful thinking than strict logic or evidence-based reasoning going on there.
I've seen Higgins publicly identified as an atheist, and I've seen Higgins publicly identified as a Catholic, but neither identification came from him.
I've never seen a report of him identifying himself as Catholic or atheist or any other religions position, and so far as I know he has never been asked, at leasts publicly, on the record. And I think that's a good thing. I'd hate to live in a society in which a "must be a Catholic" religious test for electability was replaced either with a "must be an atheist" or "must not be a Catholic" test. I'm much happier with a society in which Higgins's self-identification in religious terms is so much not an issue for the electorate that it doesn't get discussed in the campaign.
Which, it seems, is where we are.