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Boycott Dissidents targeting sports firm O'Neills after Remembrance Day jerseys issued

The Sunday World can reveal the crime gang has called for a boycott of all products associated with the leading Irish sports company after it was revealed they had designed a Remembrance Day rig for Hartlepool football club.

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Hartlepool United FC's new Remembrance Day shirt,  being manufactured by the GAA kit maker O'Neill's

Hartlepool United FC's new Remembrance Day shirt, being manufactured by the GAA kit maker O'Neill's

Hartlepool United FC's new Remembrance Day shirt, being manufactured by the GAA kit maker O'Neill's

The political wing of the New IRA has called for a countrywide boycott of O’Neills clothing.

Sportswear giant O’Neills has come under attack by members of the New IRA and Saoradh who have bombarded their headquarters with emails and letters and are now threatening to picket their premises in protest of them producing products they claim to honour the British security forces.

The Sunday World can reveal the crime gang has called for a boycott of all products associated with the leading Irish sports company after it was revealed they had designed a Remembrance Day rig for Hartlepool football club.

They have since had discussions about picketing the premises and harassing both staff and customers as the come and go from the outlets, according to sources.

“We will make our feelings and disgust known publicly and encourage all our members and supporters not to wear the clothing or buy it in the future.

"O’Neills have sold out to the British and therefore cannot rely on the hard-earned cash or support of republicans,” a New IRA source claimed.

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Controversy: The new Hartlepool kit features Spitfires

Controversy: The new Hartlepool kit features Spitfires

Controversy: The new Hartlepool kit features Spitfires

“We intend to do as much damage to their business as possible, payback for them showing support for the British forces. They have refused to print images of republican volunteers and heroes on GAA kits but they can print this, poppies,” he claimed.

Social media platforms have been used to spread the boycott demands and draft letters have been made available for those who want to send their grievances to O’Neills chiefs directly.

A letter from Saoradh said to O’Neills read “We highlighted this on some of our social media platforms and we were overwhelmed with the responses of disappointment, hurt and anger at your decision to carry this range of clothing.

“One common theme in the criticisms was that Irish people all over the world have traditionally bought O’Neills clothing as they felt they were supporting a home-grown industry and also wore the clothing as a badge of identity, celebrating their locality, their country and more generally, their Irishness.

“How could a company that has made their fortunes on the goodwill of people who often favoured your clothing out of a sense of genuine patriotism make such a decision. We urge you to think ethically as company and not turn your backs on communities in Ireland and further afield that have suffered at the hands of the British Army,” the letter said.

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However, Ulster Unionist MLA Doug Beattie praised O’Neill’s on their business decision.

“O’Neill’s should be congratulated on producing such a fine shirt for Hartlepool United to mark Remembrance weekend. It is particularly fitting that the shirt should be made by a Northern Ireland company, given that the last surviving Battle of Britain fighter pilot is an Irishman, John Hemingway, born in Dublin in 1919 and who is now living in a retirement home back in his home city.

“The shirt is a tribute to the heroism of men like him and his comrades and keeps the memory of their bravery alive.” he said this week.

This boycott and planned pickets come in the same month members of Saoradh and the NIRA protested outside Santander banks after accounts belonging to members were frozen on the orders of the PSNI and MI5.

The Sunday World contacted O’Neills for a comment but they failed to respond.

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