O'Neills sportswear in Strabane creates 60 new jobs

O'Neills Image copyright InI
Image caption Kieran Kennedy, managing director of O'Neills (L) and Alastair Hamilton, Invest NI (R)

Sixty new jobs are to be created by County Tyrone sportswear company O'Neills, following a £3m investment.

The new jobs, based in Strabane, will bring the total employed in the company to more than 400.

O'Neills was founded in 1918 and will mark its 40th anniversary in Strabane this year.

The business designs, manufactures and sells sports and leisure wear and is known mostly for Gaelic games sportswear.

The company currently has seven stores located across Northern Ireland including Belfast, Dungannon and Newry.

Kieran Kennedy, managing director of O'Neills, said: "This investment will add manufacturing capacity enabling us to achieve a significant increase on current volumes.

Success

"It will allow us to work smarter and so shorten our lead times, which in turn will give us a competitive advantage against our global competitors.

"We're also developing our e-commerce capability to boost our online sales.

"Our success is in no small part due to the commitment, loyalty and dedication of our dedicated O'Neills team, who have unfailingly embraced the changes required to make our business a success."

O'Neills is based on a 12-acre site in Strabane and is known as one of the last large-scale textile manufacturers in Northern Ireland.

Alastair Hamilton, chief executive of Invest NI, said: "This major investment will help O'Neills achieve its aim of increasing sales by 40% over the next few years by increasing production capacity and focusing on new sports and market segments in the USA, Europe, Asia and Australia.

"The 60 new jobs are good news for the north-west and the company's ongoing commitment to staff development will contribute to enhancing the skills base in the sector."

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