An Irishman has claimed responsibility for the ‘no Irish need apply’ advert in an Australian newspaper that has caused controversy down under – while an Englishman has apologised for it.

The Irish Times reports that the Irishman, from Northern Ireland, and his English business partner posted the job ad on the Gumtree website.

The ad warned that ‘No Irish need apply’ and has been slated.

When a reporter from the Irish Times rang the cell phone number posted on the ad, it was answered by a man with a Northern Ireland accent.

The advert has since been removed but the man admitted he had placed it.

“They were just not turning up,” he said. “It’s a lot different over here, so it is.

“Coming in hungover on a Monday morning is no good. I’m trying to run a business here. I know it sounds bad, but I haven’t meant anything bad by it.”

The Englishman then phoned the reporter from the same number and claimed he had placed the ad.

He said “I don’t have any problem with the Irish whatsoever.

“I think this has been blown completely out of proportion, because I just don’t have the time to train an Irish person up at the moment. I think it’s just all gone a bit sideways and people have looked at it the wrong way.

“It never occurred to him that anyone would take offence at the ad. I do apologise, I’m very, very sorry. I never meant to come across like that.”

Australia’s race discrimination commissioner Helen Szoke told the paper that the advert amounted to discrimination.

“It is unlawful to advertise in this way. There are grounds for people to bring a complaint of discrimination to the Australian Human Rights Commission,” said Dr Szoke.

An Irishman has claimed responsibility for the ‘no Irish need apply’ advertGumtree