Monday 12 November 2018

O'Neill's Rising sales on back of 1916 jersey

Sales of the Easter Rising centenary jerseys eclipsed those of the GAA’s big guns, including last year’s All Ireland football finalists, Dublin and Mayo
Sales of the Easter Rising centenary jerseys eclipsed those of the GAA’s big guns, including last year’s All Ireland football finalists, Dublin and Mayo
O'Neill's Easter Rising centenary jersey

Gordon Deegan

GAA jersey maker O'Neill's clocked sales of over €2m from "by far the biggest selling jersey" of the company's 100-year history - a special commemorative green jersey made to celebrate the 1916 centenary.

The special edition jersey easily outsold jerseys for the Dubs, Cork, Kerry, Mayo and Tyrone in the past.

The finance director and co-owner of O'Neill's, Paul Towell, credited sales of the green jersey with the harp on the front and 1916 proclamation of the back as the main factor behind the company's pre-tax profits tripling to €1.85m in 2016.

The special jersey, released ahead of the 1916 centenary celebrations, was the brainchild of Mr Towell and his brother, Andrew.

In an interview, Paul Towell said: "We just got lucky with it. We were pleasantly surprised by how well it did."

Commenting on new accounts for 2016 filed with the Companies Office, Mr Towell said yesterday that he thought initially if the company sold 5,000 of the jerseys, it would be doing well.

O'Neill's Easter Rising centenary jersey
O'Neill's Easter Rising centenary jersey

"We had no idea how it was going to go but we sold 1,000 on the first night they were put on sale online. That is unheard of," he said.

"It became by far the biggest jersey selling jersey we have sold in our 100 years and we nearly had to wait for 100 years for that to happen."

The company is this year celebrating a century in business and Mr Towell said that revenues from the jersey topped €2m.

The bumper sales of the jersey was also the main factor behind the gross profit at O'Neill's firm, Balbriggan Textiles Ltd, increasing by 14pc in 2016, from €9.7m to €11m. He said: "It was a great success and 100pc the reason why our profits increased during the year."

Irish Independent

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