By John Ensor •
Published: 21 Nov 2023 • 18:26
Reception for Northern Ireland at No 10.
Downing Street has recently faced criticism for mistakenly using the Irish flag in a post about Northern Ireland.
On Monday, November 21, the UK Government, with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in attendance, held an event at 10 Downing Street to showcase Northern Ireland, with photographs of the evening later shared on Instagram
The message, posted today, read: ‘Yesterday we celebrated the culture of Northern Ireland with a reception in Downing Street. Businesses from across Northern Ireland arrived to showcase some of the best produce the country has to offer.’
However, the original post mistakenly featured an emoticon of the Irish tricolour flag, a glaring mistake that had to be swiftly rectified once the error was pointed out.
The public was quick off the mark to point out the error, ‘Wrong flag. How embarrassing…’ wrote one, while another said, ‘Out of touch – soon to be out of government.’
Other comments included: ‘Literally the government of the country, not knowing the flag of the country. You couldn’t make it up.’ One messaged something that must have crossed everyone’s minds, ‘The social media intern needs firing.’
Doug Beattie, the leader of the Ulster Unionist Party, expressed his concerns over this incident. He believes this is yet another indication of Westminster’s lack of understanding towards Northern Ireland.
Beattie went on to underscore the disconnect, stating, ‘There are people out there who want to hand all of the devolved power we have back to Westminster, and here is what Westminster is doing – they got rid of our Levelling Up funding, they brought us the Northern Ireland Protocol, they brought us the Windsor Framework, and now they’re firing out things on Instagram where they are using the wrong flag.’
‘These people don’t understand us, they don’t know us. We are better served with devolved government.’ His comments highlight a growing frustration and sense of misrepresentation within Northern Ireland.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
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