Thursday 17 August 2017

Athenry-based Pat (62) and Una McDonagh own Supermacs - the home of curry fries. The burger chain - which got its name from McDonagh's own nickname from his gaelic football days - saw sales rise sharply to €94m, with profits of just more than €7m. There are 106 outlets and McDonagh is planning a big expansion abroad, though there are messy wrangles over the use of the Supermacs name.

The Galway man started life as a teacher but moved into pool halls and fast food. "There's more money in chips than algebra," he said. He also owns the €10m Obama Plaza grand motorway stop in Offaly as well as the 12-strong Claddagh Irish bar chain in the US. He has also invested in hotels, spending €6m on the Castletroy Park in limerick and also buying the Charleville Park and Lough Rea hotels.

The business empire generates more than we previously thought, earning around €135m per year. Last year Supermacs paid him €26m to buy back some properties that he owned.

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