The Portlaoise Plaza at Junction 17 on the M7 motorway at Togher is set to open this Friday, July 31, with 120 new jobs created.
The jobs will be announced at the site this morning by Laois TD Sean Fleming in one of his first roles as Minister for State at the Department of Finance.
The Portlaoise Plaza is part of the Supermac’s Group and will be the largest Plaza in the country. It brings the amount of people employed by the group throughout the country to over 4,000. The group consist of Supermac’s, Só Hotels and The Plaza Group.
The opening of The Portlaoise Plaza means that Supermac’s will now have three outlets in Laois – at Manor Stone in Ballacolla, off the M8 and Supermac’s Portlaoise in the centre of the town, which was opened on the 2nd of June, 1995.
The group also owns the Killeshin Hotel in Portlaoise town. The Portlaoise Plaza and will join the Barack Obama Plaza, the Galway Plaza, the Kinnegad Plaza, the Tipperary Town Plaza and the Mallow Plaza as part of The Plaza Group of motorway and national route service stations.
Originally, the Portlaoise Plaza was due to open in May but that date was postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Work had re-started on the Plaza in recent weeks and, when open and fully operational, it will employ 120 full and part-time staff.
The Plaza will be accessed off the M7 motorway at Junction 17 and can also be accessed from Portlaoise town.
Minister Fleming said that the jobs were a timely boost for the region.
“As we deal with the effects of the global pandemic on a national level it is very encouraging to see that jobs are being created to this extent despite the difficult circumstances,”he said.
“Pat and Una McDonagh are now one of the biggest employers in the county through the Portlaoise Plaza, Supermac’s and the Killeshin Hotel and their commitment to the region is to be commended.
“It is an example of the positivity that is emanating from the great work that is being done to promote the region as a place to work, live and visit.”
The owner of The Plaza Group, Pat McDonagh, said that there has been a huge amount of excitement over the opening of the Plaza because it is a significant investment in the locality at a time when the country is experiencing some of its biggest challenges in decades.
“Many customers have expressed great anticipation and we’ve employed a lot of local staff which is a real boost for the area,” he said.
“In these challenging times, the way we operate has changed completely. We have listened to staff, customers and the relevant authorities and we have put in place a plan that allows us to open gradually with the safety of our staff and customers as our main focus.
“It is important that we remain positive and we work together to get over these challenges.”
Supermac’s is Ireland’s largest indigenous quick service restaurant chain. The franchise currently has 116 outlets across the country.