Twenty new jobs have been created with the opening of a new Supermac’s outlet in Headford.
The chain’s 108th outlet, it is being operated by franchisees Ger and Ann Monaghan as an addition to their well-known service station.
The new outlet opened on Thursday, but will be officially opened by Phyllis Monaghan this Sunday with a Family Funday between 2pm and 5pm.
Ger Monaghan said: “This is a new era for us. I have recently become the Supermac’s franchisee in Headford and I am delighted with the reception I have received from local families in particular. Our staff, some of whom have been with us for up to 30 years, are key to what it is that we do here and delivering a top-class service and putting the customer at the heart of the decision-making process has been the way that my family has done its business for over 80 years and it has worked well for us. I am looking forward to continuing to build the relationship between Monaghan’s and the community here in Headford.”
There has always been a strong work ethic in the Monaghan’s. Ger’s grandfather, Michael Monaghan, returned to Loughill, Moylough in the early 1900s after spending many years working on the railroads in California.
He married Mary McHugh and they had six children. Ger’s father, Tom, was born in 1927 and, at the age of 14, he left Coloo School. The onset of the Second World War meant very high unemployment in the area and as such many sacrifices. Tom worked on the family farm and later at Gilmores in Moate, where he made egg boxes for a penny each. It was then that the Monaghan’s association with the motor trade began in 1948.
“My father left home with a bad bike and he started serving his time at Bannerton’s in Mountbellew. While there were very few cars on the roads at the time, mainly Baby Fords, Prefects and Austin 10s, this was a thriving business with motor repair, a Hackney service, an undertaker and a cycle repair shop.”
Shortly afterwards Tom’s aunt invited him to live in San Francisco. He saved the price of the fare and was ready to depart for the USA when he had to cancel his plans as the Korean War had started. The money for the trip to America was used to buy a site in Moylough beside Mannions Pub for £40 and with the help of his brothers, Jack and Eddie, as well as friends, he built his first garage. The Korean War ended and the economy began to grow and Tom installed his first petrol pump and tank. By now there were a lot more cars on the road.
“He then met and married my mother, Phyllis,” Ger said, “and they went on to have their first child in 1954. They bought a house and a dance hall in Moylough and converted it into a shop and a garage.
The dancehall was converted into a garage and a shop was subsequently added on selling groceries toys and confectionary. Banks were reluctant to loan money in those times and this meant long hours of hard work. The Hackney business meant many long trips to Cobh to the American Liners as well as airports, train stations and the Sunday Mass. But my father always spoke about the first run to Croke Park in 1954 in his Ford Customline with seven passengers. This was the first of many trips supporting his favourite teams and as the years progressed it was the norm to see a packed minibus heading from Monaghan’s to see a match or two.
In 1964 they sold the business in Moylough and bought a farm in Kildare,” Ger said, “but within 3 years they were back in the West. Monaghan’s came to Headford in 1967 when my mother and father bought a small shop and petrol pumps. It became very popular and they then acquired another site on the Tuam Rd in Galway.
The business expanded from its early days of being a filling station, tyre centre and shop. Further expansion meant the addition of Centra and Topaz. The business continued to grow and following more additions this year it Supermac’s, Papa John’s Pizza, multi-lane filling station, car wash, a Centra, a wide range of solid fuels and washing machine services. We have come along since 1948,” Ger said.
The sense of family and the connection with the past will be very much to the fore at the opening ceremony next Sunday when Ger’s mother, Phyllis, will cut the ribbon at the official opening. Ger and Ann’s son, Barry, is very active in the business and their daughters, Jane, Alice and Ericka also help out.
Supermac’s Managing Director Pat McDonagh said: “We are delighted to have the Monaghan’s on board with us. Ger and his wife Ann have a wealth of knowledge in this sector and come from one of the best known and most respected families in the country. The Monaghan family are part of the fabric of Galway society and the family’s roots are deep in the region. I have no doubt that Ger and Ann will be strong and active members of the Supermac’s family and that the Monaghan’s Service Station will go from strength to strength.”