Ennis could soon become the unlikely home of the Donald Trump Plaza, or perhaps the de Valera Plaza, or maybe even the Davy Fitzgerald Plaza.
Supermacs owner, Pat McDonagh, will allow the Clare public to name the new M18 service station planned for Doora, just outside of Ennis — his latest project since the construction of the Barack Obama Plaza in Offaly.
Plans for the service station have been before Clare County Council for almost a year, with a number of local and national objectors lodging submission with the local authority.
During this time, plans put forward by Applegreen for a rival service station on the M18 at Bunratty were turned down by the local authority before being withdrawn while under consideration by An Bord Pleanála.
Mr McDonagh last week announced that a number of local objections to his Doora station have been withdrawn while also announcing plans to include a visitor information centre on the site to promote Clare tourism.
A number of names have already been mooted locally for the station, including the Donald Trump Plaza, because of the American presidential candidate’s connection with Doonbeg in west Clare.
“We will probably leave it open to the public to come up with a name and maybe run a competition to decide what it will be,” said Mr McDonagh.
“I’ve heard a few good suggestions already, someone has suggested the Banner Plaza to me but we will see what happens. We won’t be stuck for a good name for when that comes around, but we are still in the early stages yet.
“We had no idea of the Barack Obama connection when we began that project in Moneygall but luck favoured us on that occasion. He visited the place while we were going through the planning process and it was a good choice for us to name it the Barack Obama Plaza.”
He said the service station would support local businesses, rather than taking from them. “We will have an area where people can advertise their business and where people can get information on what is happening in west Clare and throughout the county,” he said.
“I think it is important for people who are on that motorway to be informed on what is happening elsewhere in Clare.
“Sometimes you can zip down motorways and not know about the towns that have been bypassed, they can be forgotten about. You need to have an area where people, especially tourists, can see what is on offer.
“We had a lot of goodwill from businesses in the area over the last few days. It has been very encouraging.”
A planning decision is expected before the end of January and construction is likely to take around 12 months.
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