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The Co. Tyrone based company is now carrying out testing using Covid-19 self-testing kits sourced from an internationally renowned private healthcare laboratory service. The move follows a number of positive cases in September among O’Neills’ employees and others having to self-isolate as a result of Test and Trace.
O’Neills is Ireland’s largest sportswear manufacturer and a major employer in the North West cross-border region having its main production facilities in Strabane. As well as supplying sportswear to teams across the globe, the company is continuing to develop its range of healthcare products and supply of PPE for health authorities across the island.
Kieran Kennedy, Managing Director, said the company has endeavored to adapt its workplace facilities to help reduce the spread of infection.
He continued: “O’Neills have been following all of the public health measures to help protect our staff and customers since the outset of this crisis including maintaining social distancing, prominent signage, wearing face masks and personal hand sanitizers in the workplace. The company has also facilitated working from home arrangements where possible for staff. Unfortunately, community transmission across the island of Ireland and UK…
A number of Irish republican groups have called for a boycott of O’Neills after images were circulated on social media showing an RAF Spitfire – commemorating the Battle of Britain 80th anniversary – emblazoned on Hartlepool United kits.
Saoradh and the Anti-Imperialist Action Ireland group have also posted pictures on social media of an O’Neill’s kit produced for the RAF’s rugby league team.
In a letter to the company posted on the Facebook page of Saoradh’s Dublin branch, the organisation said it had been brought to its attention that O’Neills has been manufacturing clothing with “symbols of war and imperialism” on them.
It said: “We highlighted this on some of our social media platforms and we were overwhelmed with the responses of disappointment, hurt and anger at your decision to carry this range of clothing.
“One common theme in the criticisms was that Irish people all over the world have traditionally bought O’Neills clothing as they felt they were supporting a home-grown industry and also wore the clothing as a badge of identity, celebrating their locality, their country and more generally their Irishness.”
The letter goes on…
An Ulster Unionist MLA has welcomed the production by leading GAA kit manufacturer O'Neills of a striking Remembrance Day jersey for an English football club.
he Hartlepool FC commemorative strip features a wartime RAF Spitfire emblazoned across the chest and back, with the O'Neills logo in a prominent position. It costs £39.99.
The Irish firm's main factory here is in Strabane and it has a history of close links to the GAA stretching back to the early years of the last century.
Unveiling the new shirt, the club said: "Hartlepool United are delighted to launch the 2020 Remembrance shirt which this year will show our gratitude to the service personnel who gave their lives in the Battle of Britain fought over the summer and autumn of 1940, 80 years ago."
Acting executive director Martin Jesper added: "This is a tradition that deserves its continuation so we can show our respect to all service personnel.
"Our respect goes to those who made the ultimate sacrifice. After initial consultation with supporter group representatives it was agreed that this year the club should recognise the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain and it seemed appropriate the representation of the RAF fighter was…