Galway received a jobs boost yesterday with the announcement by Supermac's founders Pat and Una McDonagh that 100 jobs are to be created at the country's latest motorway service station on the M6 at Kiltullagh. The couple will also employ a further 220 people in the future due to plans for three further plaza developments nationwide over the next two years.
The Kiltullagh Plaza on the M6 motorway will provide essential services for motorists on the Galway to Dublin route, filling the current void in service provision between Galway city and Enfield. The site, located at the Junction 16 roundabout, will be fully accessible to traffic travelling east and west and will link onto the existing road network with Loughrea and the major towns in East Galway.
The capital investment of €8 million means the development is one of the most significant business ventures in County Galway over the last 10 years. Construction work on the site is under way, and the service station and food court will open early next year. A variety of food offerings including Supermac’s, Papa John’s Pizza, Mac’s Place Deli, SuperSubs, Bewley’s, a bakery, and fresh carvery will be available at the new development.
Supermac's is Ireland's largest indigenous company and currently employs more than 3,000 people. In addition to the new jobs in Kiltullagh, a further 220 positions will be created nationwide through plans for three further plaza developments over the next two years. It was announced last December that the company had acquired a site on the M18 Motorway between Limerick and Galway for the construction of a full motorway services area at Junction 12 on the outskirts of Ennis. There are also plans in the pipeline for another motorway service site in Limerick.
Pat McDonagh, who is also the owner of the famed Barack Obama Plaza in Moneygall on the M7, said the company has identified the need to provide essential services for drivers throughout the country's motorway system. "The volume of traffic on our motorways is continuously increasing. There are currently 15,000 vehicles passing the site at Kiltullagh daily. As well as providing key services, spacious parking means that drivers can rest comfortably, and ensure they are alert enough to take to the road.''
The businessman revealed that he has been surprised by the amount of western bound traffic which stops at the Obama Plaza. "Much of this is tourist traffic which is generally going in the direction of the Cliffs of Moher, coming from Dublin. Visitor numbers to Ireland have this year increased 24 per cent from the US, 12 per cent from the UK, and 20 per cent internationally. This has given a major boost to Irish businesses over the summer, and we hope the numbers continue to rise. We have seen through the success of the Obama Plaza and Moneygall that service stations can pull visitors into their surrounding areas and we hope that also happens in East Galway. The area has a rich depth of history with its medieval towns and attractions such as Esker Monastery and Dartfield Horse Museum.''
Meanwhile, Una McDonagh is delighted that the company is a position to be generating employment near the couple's own home place. "The focus from the outset has been on ensuring that the job creation benefit of the Kiltullagh Plaza will be centred on the local area. Supermac's is delighted to bring a benefit to communities in villages and towns - places where economy is otherwise being threatened by modern consumer drift to cities and online shopping. We are so pleased, that within our own locality, we can make a significant, sustainable, contribution on a level such as this.''