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An artist's impression of the Barack Obama Plaza, at Moneygall, County Offaly

Barack Obama is finally creating jobs -- in Ireland of all places

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An artist's impression of the Barack Obama Plaza, at Moneygall, County Offaly

Barack Obama is creating jobs -- in Ireland.

Today Una and Pat McDonagh, owners of the Supermac’s and Papa John’s restaurant chains in Ireland, have announced plans to commence development of the Barack Obama 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.

“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” says Pat McDonagh.

The Plaza will provide a Community Facility for the use of the people of Moneygall, it will house on- going displays of both historic and current material marking the relationship between Moneygall and the United States.

High standard facilities within the plaza will include a restaurant, convenience shop, and fuel facilities, it will be open 24/7 and also provide broadband connectivity free to visitors.

The development has been openly welcomed by the local community, with Obama's Irish relative Henry Healy giving it his full backing.

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 stopover point for motorists travelling through the midlands.

 It 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.

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