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O'Neills: 100 years of sportswear

As they look forward to celebrating a century of being a leading sportswear manufacturer, O'Neills reminisce about the history of their business

Posted by Rebecca Paddick | October 01, 2017 | Sports & Leisure

O’ Neills Irish International Sports Company Limited is the largest and leading sportswear manufacturer in Ireland, employing more than 800 staff. Sales offices are located in Dublin (Head Office), Belfast, Leigh (Manchester), Somerset, France, Australia and USA.  

Founded in 1918 by Charles O’Neills, the original Capel Street Dublin premises designed and manufactured footballs and hurling balls. O’Neills is already planning for what will be a unique 100 years in the sportswear business celebration in 2018.

By 1960 O’Neills was also manufacturing playing kit for the GAA Market and in 1974 opened the Strabane facility in Northern Ireland, employing 30 staff. 1987 saw the move from Capel Street to Walkinstown Avenue and a new dye house and knitting plant open.

The Strabane facility has continued to grow and the 12-acre site now employs over 500 people.

Bespoke teamwear for sports as varied as Gaelic football, rugby union and rugby league, football, hockey, netball, basketball, cricket, athletics, cycling and even ultimate frisbee are all manufactured in Strabane.

With a plentiful supply of core training, leisurewear and accessories stocked in Strabane, O’Neills also offers some of the fastest lead times in the sportswear business –  four weeks for bespoke fully sublimated teamwear, three weeks for embroidered garments and two–three days for stock items such as accessories.

2010 saw the now hugely successful online business start to take shape, with the platform further improved in 2013 and now operating globally and offering 24/7 shopping opportunities.

The education sector, especially in the UK is one of the largest growth areas, allowing parents and students the opportunity of purchasing all their sportswear requirements online.

W: oneills.com 

For further information about O’Neills Sportswear please contact Peter Kennedy via pk@oneillsuk.com or  07834 658908/01458 448414

Tim Reeman
Director of Sport at Kingswood School, Bath
“Kingswood School has always been very well looked after by O’Neills. The customer service team is excellent, the time from order to delivery better than any other company I have worked with and the quality, accuracy of the branding and the kit itself is first class. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend O’Neills to anyone looking for a reliable kit supplier.” 

Sophie Stevens
Retail Manager at Blundell’s School
“We asked O’Neills to help us with our school games uniform two years ago and it was, without doubt, a sound choice.  The sales office could not be more helpful – we have always received exemplary customer service and anomalies are taken in their stride.  Design is excellent, manufacture is fast and quality is fantastic.  We have had no cause for complaint despite throwing all sorts of constraints at the design team and factory.  We look forward to a long and lasting relationship with O’Neills.”

Mark Walmsley
Director or Sport at Manchester Grammar School
“Having initially supplied our school’s rugby apparel for a couple of years we decided to commit to O’Neills to supply all of our sportswear needs throughout the school including PE and games kit. We did this to reduce the overall cost that our parents faced whilst at the same time getting a higher quality of garment and service. This decision was made three years ago and we have not looked back since. The quality of their products is excellent across a wide range of sports and their pricing makes it accessible to all of our pupils. The service we have received is consistently good and with their products being made so close to home they consistently provide a quick and efficient delivery service. We have been really pleased with everything that O’Neills provides for us and would highly recommend them.”

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