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17th Feb 2016

Dublin county board reject additional cash to stick with O’Neills as jersey manufacturer

Hard to beat tradition

Kevin McGillicuddy

We are both happy and sad at this news.

Over the last number of days it was reported that the Dublin county board were considering ending their long running partnership with O’Neills in favour of a foreign kit manufacturer.

It was suggested that the county board, who are already the richest in the country, were about to ink a deal with the likes of Adidas or Puma, which would have caused a major issue within the association.

While Rule 1.17 prevents any GAA player from wearing gear that is not produced in Ireland, which also extends to what supporters buy in shops, there was a suggestion that the Dublin county board would go all the way to the EU to try and force through a possible deal with a foreign manufacturer.

However this contentious option has been taken off the table after the Dublin county chairman confirmed they have rejected big money offers to continue their association with O’Neills.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, chairman Sean Shanely admits they were tempted, but they will retain loyalty to O’Neills, and not because of any extra money on offer either.

“If it was only about finance we would have changed.”

“There was a loyalty factor there too. O’Neills are the only manufacturers with a base in Dublin and they were there for the county when things weren’t going well.”

“We had delayed signing a new contract for long enough because of other possibilities so it was time to make a decision. We’d be conscious of giving business, where possible, to Irish manufacturers.”

Dublin fans on O'Connell Street 21/9/2015

It’s believed that Dublin had considered trying to organise a compromise where their commercial reproductions would be manufactured by a third party, with team gear would still be produced by O’Neills.

However, all talk of a new deal is moot as the county board have signed a new three-year deal.

It also means that we can only pine for the opportunity lost for a foreign manufacturer to put their own spin on the Dublin jersey as we imagined here.

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