A group of thugs in the Russian city of Irkutsk beat up members of a St Patrick’s day flashmob recently, mistakenly believing they were gay activists.

Interfax News Agency reports that the fight broke out at a mall in Irkutsk on Sunday evening, after members of Easy School held a St Patrick’s day-themed flash mob.

A police spokesperson said: “Some youths came up to them and expressed displeasure at the proceedings. A conflict took place that grew into a fight on the square outside the mall.

“The Easy School members were wearing historic costumes, particularly kilts and their opponents mistook them for representatives of non-traditional sexual orientation.”

The school posted a video of the flash mob on the social networking site VKontakte showing many of the students wearing checked kilts.

In a statement, they confirmed both students and teachers were hurt in the fight.

“Yes our students and teachers were among the injured but it could have been any young people who weren’t to the taste of these grey masses,” the school said.

Police also reported that a teacher suffered mild concussion.