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PICS: "This Is The One And Only Thing That Dublin Needs Much More Of"

By Darragh Berry

October 2, 2018 at 1:24pm


The move from the country up to the big smoke can be a challenging one.

You have to redefine everything about yourself. For most, the move comes after college meaning you have to change from being a student who just wants to go out all the time, to a working professional...who wants to go out all the time, but has bills to pay.

You'll begin to miss lots of different things about your hometown. The local pubs, your friends and family and especially the food.

Whether it's mammy's cooking or your favourite chipper, you just can't seem to match the experience in Dublin.

Even though you'll spend most of your time up here trying.

Most of my life is spent scrolling on Twitter looking at the latest news and looking for stories, sad I know.

I came across a tweet from Today FM Broadcaster and Six O'Clock Show Host, Muireann O'Connell, which shows the struggle that some country folk go through from time to time.

You could be surrounded by what are known as the best chippers that the capital has to offer and still crave the institution known around the rest of the country as 'Smacs'.

As it stands, there are just eleven Supermac's restaurants in the whole of Dublin and as a person coming from the west of Ireland, this is just outrageous.

They are situated at Heuston Station, O'Connell Street, Westmoreland Street, Temple Bar, Navan Road, Clonshagh, Newtown, Spawell, Blackrock, Balbriggan and Talbot Street.

The Central Statistics Office predicts that the Dublin Region will reach a population of 2.1 million by 2020.

This means that there'll be only one Supermac's shop for every 200,000 people in Dublin.


We want more and you may say that's excessive but that's not a good enough argument in our opinion.

Supermac's are the kings of excess.

Their founder, Pat McDonagh set up the first Supermac's in Ballinasloe back in 1978.

In Ballinasloe alone 40 years later, there are now three stores all within a one mile radius of each other.

Four if you count the one that's situated on the Dublin Road in Ballinasloe...

There's 7,226 people in the whole of the town, let that sink in.

And why is it excessive? Because it's an Irish Institution.

Take the one at Heuston Station for example, the one that Muireann had to drive to in order to get her fill.

If you're heading home for the weekend, the journey does not start when you step on the tracks at the station, it starts when you order your grub at the store inside.

Supermacs 1

The story goes that McDonagh was a school teacher who wanted to set up a nightclub in his local town. He didn't have the money to set up the nightclub but decided to go for the next best thing, something that people would need directly after a night out.

Since then, 107 outlets have been erected in Ireland but the fact that only 11 of them are in the capital is not acceptable.

It's not even about the food, some of the best moments of my life are associated with the food outlet.

Race week and Rag Week in Galway are the two biggest weeks in the Irish calendar.

Sure, the horses and the nightclub events are a big part to play but your night is only topped off if you head into Supermac's after.

The likes of this jig-acting that occurs during these two weeks alone, you'd think that Pat McDonagh would have shut up shop early during these times.

But no, instead he gets behind his staff in the Eyre Square shop and has been noted to help them out on the busy nights, clearing tables and serving food.

That's the true definition of a leader.

What about normal nights out, you say. Even on the most boring of Tuesday nights out in college, you'd head to Supermacs 'for the look' even if you weren't getting food and the place would be hopping.

You'd meet up with all the friends that you had lost in the nightclub and if you hadn't pulled whilst out, your chances were just as good in Smacs.

Their burgers, their wide and crazy selection of chips - and don't even get us started about their Papa John's...

Barry Keoghan knows the craic.

What I'm saying is that there should be at least one if not more than one Supermac's store in each Dublin postcode area.

If we have room in our lives for a 24-hour drive-thru for doughnuts, there's definitely a big space for a Supermac's Drive-Thru too that serves at any hour of the night.

And for the love of God, how there isn't one within a two minute walk of Coppers is actually beyond me.

You've got the culchies, they've built up the thirst already from bouncing to Westlife and the likes, do you want us to build it for you?

Even if they just opened it for the two weekends that the All-Ireland Finals are on, their profit would be made for the rest of the year.

Supermac's isn't just about the food, it's about the craic and the banter that you have inside also.

But, the fact that someone, anyone, might have to travel as far as the county's main train station in order to get one needs to change quickly.

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