THE North West has suffered its latest blow due to the outbreak of COVID-19 with major sportswear manufacturer O’Neill’s temporarily laying off around 750 workers.
As of 6pm this evening, all operations at the Strabane-based factory and sportswear store will cease.
O’Neill’s are a popular brand particularly among GAA teams and the firm have been the official kit supplier to Donegal GAA since returning for a second term in 2014.
The company wrote to all staff informing them of the decision, which they said was ‘drastic acton’ and came following a ‘complete cessation’ of orders from sporting clubs and retailers.
Staff – many of whom are from Donegal – were told that the temporary lay-off will be until May 5th.
Sinn Féin TD for Donegal Pearse Doherty confirmed that employees living in Donegal can avail of the Government’s €203 COVID-19 payment.
Alliance Party Councillor for Omagh Stephen Donnelly said on Twitter: “The news emerging from Strabane of O’Neill’s laying off 750 employees until May is a devastating blow for the workers and their families. Crucial these workers secure the financial support they require to see them through what is going to be lengthy and difficult period.”