Northern Ireland

Omagh Integrated School caught in PE kit row

The principal of a primary school that teaches Catholic and Protestant children has said he has been caught in the middle of a row over a new PE kit.

Omagh Integrated Primary chose sportswear company O'Neills to supply the kit, but some parents complained the brand was closely tied to the GAA.

After Nigel Cairns wrote to parents to clarify that the firm's logo would not be shown on the jerseys, he said he then came under fire from people online who mistakenly claimed he had deliberately excluded the company.

Mr Cairns said no other logos apart from the school's had ever been planned to feature on the kit.


His initial letter to parents was brought to a wider audience when a photograph of it was posted on social media.

In it he had said: "There will be no O'Neill's logo on the PE top - this has been the biggest concern."

Mr Cairns told the BBC: "Some parents had sought clarification on the PE kit, but some assumptions were made and it was unfortunately reported that we had deliberately excluded the O'Neill's logo.

"Things have got a bit heated and this negative attention has come from misinformed people on the internet rather than our school community.

"We had an extensive consultation on the kit and there was no talk of any logo at the time.

"We are happy with the quality, price and value for money provided by O'Neill's."

In his letter to parents, he had said the Northern Ireland-based firm was a "UK-wide supplier whose GAA business accounts for 8% of turnover with rugby and cycling garments being the predominant lines".