Supermac’s ‘requests’ Garda inquiry into forged letters

Firm earlier admitted it had agreed to underwrite the cost of submitting the letters

Supermac’s on Westmoreland Street, Dublin. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Supermac’s on Westmoreland Street, Dublin. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

 

Supermac’s says it wants An Garda Síochána to investigate the submission to Clare County Council of forged letters of support for the company’s plan to build a motorway service area near Ennis.

A weekend statement from the company referred to “hurt and distress” caused by the letters which, in at least one instance, were sent in the name of a man who died in 2003.

Like at least 40 others from a batch of some 180 letters professing support for the company’s plan, the man’s signature had been forged.

The company earlier admitted it had agreed to underwrite the cost of submitting the letters which, at €20 per letter, could amount to €3,600.

No money had yet been paid, the company said last week, to the unidentified organisers of what the company says it initially thought was a name-gathering exercise for a petition of support to the council.

Many of the names and addresses attached to letters were from the Clarecastle* area, close to Junction 12 of the M18 where Supermac’s founder Pat McDonagh wants to build the service station and fast food and retail outlet.

Hurt and distress

In its weekend statement, the company said: “Supermac’s requests a Garda investigation into fraudulent letters.

“As a result of the hurt and distress caused to many people whose names have been included without their permission on recent submissions, it is necessary to establish the source of these letters.

“ Supermac’s does not tolerate correspondence of this nature from any source and will fully support any investigation.”

The service area plan for the 4.8-hectare site some five kilometres east of Ennis envisages fuel pumps and related service for vehicles, together with a two-storey tall building with 2,564sq m of retail, restaurant, office and related facilities such as storage and toilets.

Opponents, who include long-established hospitality and retail businesses in Ennis, argue that the proposal is contrary to local and national planning guidelines.

A decision on the plan is expected early next month.

*This article was amended on August 27th.