170 new jobs planned as O’Neills expansion gets backing

O'Neills in Strabane.
O'Neills in Strabane.

Plans which will see the creation of over 170 new jobs at O’Neills in Strabane have been approved by the local Planning Committee.

A total of 172 new positions are to be created over the next three years at the Strabane business.

The proposals were unanimously backed by Derry City & Strabane District Councillors sitting on the Planning Committee during a special meeting at the Guildhall on Tuesday morning.

A Planning Officer told the Committee that the new storage and distribution facility and factory shop complex, close to O’Neills current site at Dublin Road Industrial Estate, would facilitate the company’s plans to expand its online business.

As well as the new jobs, she said the new development is expected to generate an additional £26.7m in sales over three years, and “will also help safeguard 543 current jobs within the existing Strabane facility”.

O’Neills Irish International Sports Company Ltd was founded in 1918 as a manufacturer of Gaelic footballs, and it is now the largest sportswear manufacturing company in Ireland.

Sinn Fein Councillor Kieran McGuire who said the development would bring “massive economic benefit” and proposed the Committee endorse the planning officer’s recommendation to approve it.

SDLP Councillor John Boyle seconded the proposal.

The Committee has also asked Council to help look into concerns from local businesses about the state of an access road at the industrial estate.