How Supermac's was almost a pool hall, not a fastfood chain
The chain started up when Pat McDonagh was denied planning permission for a pool hall in Ballinasloe in 1978
The temperatures were soaring as the great and the good of Galway hurling packed into the meeting room at the Loughrea Hotel and Spa last week. The All-Ireland final countdown was on in earnest for the Tribesmen with less than three weeks to go to the showdown at Croke Park.
After a 29-year gap, hopes of lifting the Liam MacCarthy are high.
Striking a suitably relaxed pose was midfielder David Burke, while Conor Cooney also faced the media microphones.
In the midst of the conference was Supermac's supremo Pat McDonagh who has been sponsoring his county's hurlers through thick and thin since the 1990s.
Naturally, he'll be hoping that a few supporters might make a pit stop on the routes home from Croke Park to dine at some of his 108 Supermac's outlets. Some might find their way to his Barack Obama Plaza in Moneygall, not too far from Joe Canning country in Portumna.
The Galway man who, along with his wife Una, has built up a diverse business empire valued at €110m, has never shied away from voicing his opinion on business and rural matters. His stance on insurance fraud brought the plight of small businesses to national attention. And he still sees Supermac's as a rural business.
The chain started up when he was denied planning permission for a pool hall in Ballinasloe in 1978.
Left with a building that was costing him money, he hired a local chef to show him how to cook, rolled up his sleeves and opened up his first fast food restaurant.