Press Association reported:
[A] spokesperson for President McAleese said her comments, which come ahead of a planned visit to Belfast next month, were in the context of a discussion on the Holocaust.
“The President was speaking about how the effects of hatred and intolerance are seen around the world and how they can impact on our children and one of the examples she used was Northern Ireland,” she said.
“Her comments were never intended to single out the Protestant people of Northern Ireland.
“The President`s record of equal and sincere support of both communities in Northern Ireland is well-documented.
“Throughout her career she had continually tried to transcend the barriers of sectarianism.”