Tuesday 26 September 2017

Sweet taste of success for fast food sponsor

Pat McDonagh and wife Una with Galway captain David Burke after the Tribesmen won the league title against Tipperary in April. Photo: Sportsfile
Pat McDonagh and wife Una with Galway captain David Burke after the Tribesmen won the league title against Tipperary in April. Photo: Sportsfile

John Fallon

Galways's momentous All-Ireland win didn't just end the famine for their loyal supporters and players, but also for long-serving sponsors Pat and Una McDoangh, owners of fast food chain Supermac's.

It first came on board with the Tribesmen in 1989, just after the county had won the previous two All-Ireland titles - but its logo did not appear on the front of the jerseys for another two years.

Since then Supermac's has spent almost €3m sponsoring Galway, extending their backing to include all GAA teams in the county - including football, camogie and ladies football.

A native of Killimordaly, the same club as the late Tony Keady, Pat McDonagh played club hurling, but football took over when he went to boarding school at Carmelite College in Moate.

At the time Malcolm Macdonald was the shining icon of English soccer and McDonagh's exploits on the field in Westmeath earned him the 'Supermac' moniker. After so many disappointments, Pat was thrilled to finally see them recapture the Liam MacCarthy Cup.

"You don't do it for the payback, even though I was looking at it recently and we have nearly €3m put into Galway hurling in the last 25 years, most of it in the last four or five years," he told the Irish Independent.

"It's fantastic and it's great to see it. Even from a commercial point of view it's fantastic branding. But I don't really do it for that. We do it because we are from a hurling area - and a football area - so therefore it is to keep your county out there more than anything else.

"What a tremendous win, it was down to the unity of spirit and the will to win.

"The Keady factor certainly had a factor in it too. He was such a great servant of Galway, they knew he would have liked to have been there too.

"It is a special moment for all Galway people. This somewhat compensates for all the disappointments. I have been in six losing dressing rooms and I can tell you there is no worse place to be after an All Ireland.

"It was some compensation for the previous players, many of whom served Galway with distinction and many of whom deserved to get an All Ireland but never did.

"I think it was a monkey off a lot of people's backs because it was a long time coming. To win an All Ireland everything has to go right. The team themselves, the management, the supporters the whole lot has to come together."

Irish Independent

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