The €6m Barack Obama Plaza planned for Moneygall is to create 60 new jobs, it was announced today.
Pat and Una McDonagh, owners of the Supermac's and Papa John's Restaurant chains, have announced their plans to commence development of the plaza alongside the birthplace of the US President's Ancestors in Moneygall.
The plaza, costing €6m, represents the single biggest investment on the Offaly/Tipperary Border in decades. The plaza will bring 60 new jobs to Moneygall. An additional 75 new jobs will be created during the construction phase of the Motorway Service Site.
High standard facilities within the The Barack Obama Plaza will include a restaurant, convenience shop and fuel facilities and in addition will provide broadband connectivity free to visitors. The plaza will open 24/7.
As an additional element recognising the historic significance of Moneygall as the birthplace of the ancestors of the President of the United States, the plaza will provide a community facility for the use of the people of Moneygall. The Barack Obama Community Facility will house ongoing displays of both historic and current material marking the relationship between Moneygall and the United States.
Pat McDonagh said: "This is a most exciting time for both our business and the people of Moneygall. We've received highly positive support from the people of the area and are delighted to be in a position to include a community facility in the development. This will facilitate the growth of the area both economically and socially. Commemorating President Barack Obama's visit and the strong connections between Moneygall and the US will be vital to both the local area and visitors."
Obama's Irish relative Henry Healy says of the announcement: "It's always fantastic to see a new facility coming to a small community. Again it will enhance and expand on what we have to offer. The museum is an exciting prospect. It will enrich the experience for visitors and hopefully it will entice them to come into the village to visit us when they stop off."
The development will be the only major purpose built motorway service facility on the new M7 route between Dublin and Limerick, and will be a key stop over point for motorists travelling through the midlands. t is hoped that the new development will bring more tourists and visitors to the area, helping to contribute to the growth of the local economy. The overall facility is vital in the provision of services to international coach tours planning to include the birthplace of Falmouth Kearney on their itineraries in Ireland.