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Sportswear company O’Neills to make hospital scrubs for healthcare workers

The company had laid of 900 staff temporarily last week due to impact of Covid-19.

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Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis meeting Kieran Kennedy, managing director O’Neills Irish International Sports (Darren Kidd/PressEye)

Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis meeting Kieran Kennedy, managing director O’Neills Irish International Sports (Darren Kidd/PressEye)

Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis meeting Kieran Kennedy, managing director O’Neills Irish International Sports (Darren Kidd/PressEye)

Sportswear company O’Neills, which temporarily laid off 900 workers last week, will now manufacture scrubs for the Health and Social Care Trusts in Northern Ireland.

The company last week said it had been forced to lay off its workforce because of the impact of Covid-19, which had resulted in the “complete cessation of orders received from clubs and retailers across the business”.

On Monday,  the company tweeted: “The health and safety of our workers is paramount. We are observing government hygiene and distancing protocol. We are delighted to support the work of front line healthcare staff.”

The scrubs will be made in the O’Neills factory in Strabane, Co Tyrone.

On Twitter, SDLP MLA Daniel McCrossan welcomed the news: “Made up that #ONeills in #Strabane have been asked to produce #Scrubs for our #HealthWorkers.”

O’Neills supplies sportswear to GAA clubs and has a number of standalone sportswear shops.

The company employs around 700 people in its factory in Strabane, Co Tyrone, and around 200 in Walkinstown in Dublin.

PA