Date Published: 17-Dec-2009
Fast food giants Supermac’s intend to open four new restaurants over the coming year as the company enjoyed profits of over €5 million last year.
And Managing Director of Supermac’s, Pat McDonagh, told The Connacht Tribune that the current recession had resulted in consumers opting for value for money as opposed to paying high restaurant prices.
He also said that in the current economic environment, rents for commercial property had reduced considerably and this would pave the way for the opening of more fast food outlets.
At the moment there are 90 Supermac’s outlets across the country and between these and the holding company, they employ more than 2,500 people.
The Galway based company was established in the late ‘70s with an outlet in Ballinasloe and this was soon followed by fast food restaurants in Galway and Gort.
Since then it has expanded to every town and city across the country and provided valuable employment.
The vast majority of the outlets have been franchised out to individual operators and Pat McDonagh has paid tribute to these business people and their staff for their professionalism.
Last year the fast food chain recorded a four fold increase in their pretax profits to €5.2 million. This represented an increase in turnover from €57.9 million to €63 million.
“Value for money is important in this current environment and this is what Supermac’s offers its customers”. Mr. McDonagh said.
he along with his wife Una are the directors of the company who are the current sponsors of the Galway senior hurling team.
He added: “The fast food business is not recession proof but it is recession resistant. The next couple of years will be a big challenge but we are confident that we will get the same level of support from the public”.
Mr. McDonagh has a number of locations in mind for new fast food outlets and currently these are subject to planning permission being granted. He said that it was his ambition to open four new outlets during 2010.
The chief factor behind the sharp increase in pretax profits was the much lower amount written off by the company in its investment in the Claddagh Irish Pubs chain last year. The company wrote off €1.8 million of its investment in the US based pub chain compared to €6 million in 2007.
Mr. McDonagh spent five years teaching in Kilrickle before embarking on the fast food business by first opening an outlet in Ballinasloe in 1978.
The way we were – Protecting archives of our past
People’s living conditions less than 100 years ago were frightening. We have come a long way. We talk about water charges today, but back then the local District Councils were erecting pumps for local communities and the lovely town of Mountbellew, according to Council minutes, had open sewers,” says Galway County Council archivist Patria McWalter.
Patria believes we “need to take pride in our history, and we should take the same pride in our historical records as we do in our built heritage”. When you see the wealth of material in her care, this belief makes sense.
She is in charge of caring for the rich collection of administrative records owned by Galway County Council and says “these records are as much part of our history as the Rock of Cashel is. They document our lives and our ancestors’ lives. And nobody can plan for the future unless you learn from the past, what worked and what didn’t”.
Archivists and librarians are often unfairly regarded as being dry, academic types, but that’s certainly not true of Patria. Her enthusiasm is infectious as she turns the pages of several minute books from Galway’s Rural District Councils, all of them at least 100 years old.
Part of her role involved cataloguing all the records of the Councils – Ballinasloe, Clifden, Galway, Gort, Loughrea, Mountbellew, Portumna and Tuam. These records mostly consisted of minutes of various meetings.
When she was cataloguing them she realised their worth to local historians and researchers, so she decided to compile a guide to their content. The result is For the Record: The Archives of Galway’s Rural District Councils, which will be a valuable asset to anybody with an interest in history.
Many representatives on these Councils were local personalities and several were arrested during the political upheaval of the era, she explains.
And, ushering in a new era in history, women were allowed to sit on these Rural District Councils – at the time they were not allowed to sit on County Councils.
All of this information is included in Patria’s introductory essay to the attractively produced A4 size guide, which gives a glimpse into how these Rural Councils operated and the way political thinking changed in Ireland during a short 26-year period. In the early 1900s, these Councils supported Home Rule, but by 1920, they were calling for full independence and refusing to recognise the British administration.
“I love the tone,” says Patria of the minutes from meetings. “The language was very emotive.”
That was certainly true of the Gort Rural District Council. At a meeting in 1907, following riots in Dublin at the premiere of JM Synge’s play, The Playboy of the Western World the councillors’ response was vehement. They recorded their decision to “protest most emphatically against the libellous comedy, The Playboy of the Western World, that was belched forth during the past week in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, under the fostering care of Lady Gregory and Mr Yeats. We congratulate the good people of Dublin in howling down the gross buffoonery and immoral suggestions that are scattered throughout this scandalous performance.
For more from the archives see this week’s Tribunes here
Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr
Date Published: 23-Jan-2013
Athenry fail to take chances as they bow out of Junior Cup
Date Published: 29-Jan-2013
Athenry FC 1
Kilbarrack United 2
(After extra time)
For the second year in succession Athenry were done in extra time in the FAI Junior Cup as last season’s beaten finalist’s came from behind to snatch an excellent game in Moanbawn on Sunday afternoon.
On a heavy pitch that was only playable following extensive groundwork by club officials all morning, the home side were by far the better side in the opening half, but failed to take advantage of a number of opportunities that came their way.
An Alan O’Donovan penalty gave them a merited advantage just after the restart, but thereafter were on the back foot as Kilbarrack took over, but for all their pressing, the home rearguard were dealing comfortably with their forays.
However they were struck a body blow just six minutes from time, as big striker Keith Kirwan was left all alone at the far post to head the equaliser and from that point on the Dubliners were the better side.
They started off the extra time in the ascendancy and enjoying all the momentum before striking for a good winning goal on 104 minutes. A strong bench allowed them to make some necessary changes and it was not a facility that was available to Athenry manager Gabriel Glavin.
With Gary Forde and Gary Delaney out through suspension following their sending off against OLBC in the previous round, and Seamie Crowe injured, it left their bench rather threadbare with just a number of young squad players available.
Playing with the aid of the slight incline and any wind advantage going, the home side had a Connor Cannon effort on target in the opening minute, while John Meleady was just over with a flick at the other end.
Meleady then tested Andrew Walsh who saved comfortably, before the goalkeeper pulled off a brilliant double save on 14 minutes.
Firstly he went full length to push away a Meleady shot and was then back on his feet to parry David Jackson’s close-range rebound.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.