@ewansomerville

Sheffield City Council has been forced to apologise for flying a Welsh flag above their head offices on St Patrick’s Day.

The unmistakable red dragon was spotted fluttering in the wind above Sheffield Town Hall on Ireland’s national day of pride and heritage.

Council workers then added to the bewilderment by tweeting to celebrate Wales’ 25-7 Six Nations victory over Ireland on Saturday.

But awkwardly, the remark about the rugby result in Cardiff was part of an official council apology for the flag debarle.

Blaming “basic error”, the since deleted statement went on: “While we’re at it, we would like to congratulate Wales on their fantastic victory in the Six Nations at the weekend and wish everyone a Happy St Patrick’s Day, too.”

Issuing an apology for the apology, the council said it was sorry “for any offence caused” by the first attempt to refill the dug hole.

‘I’d like to buy him a pint’

At least two colours were correct

Many on social media laughed off the error, one commenting of the Welsh and Irish flags: “Easy mistake to make, they are almost identical after all”.

Another jibed: “Who’s the mystery Welshman working at Sheffield City Council. I’d like to buy him a pint.”

But others were less impressed, with some even reading so deeply as to call it a “typical” window into a “council [that] isn’t fit for purpose”.

For Chrissy Meleady, of the Irish People’s Forum in Sheffield, the “secondary slap” apology referencing Ireland’s rugby defeat was “quite an insult”.

“It’s a little bit sad that they couldn’t differentiate between the flags,” she told the BBC.

A council spokesman said: “We are very sorry that the Welsh flag was raised in error yesterday rather than the St Patrick’s flag. We are also sorry for any offence caused by our earlier statement.”

@ewansomerville

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