McDonagh Calls for Powerplant Reopening

Pat McDonagh, founder and CEO of Supermac's, has suggested that the State and ESB should consider reopening the closed down peat-fired power stations in Lanesborough and Shannonbridge and the defunct windfarm in Derrybrien in order to address the energy challenge this winter.

Pat McDonagh also predicted that the soaring cost of energy and other inputs would lead to up to 10% of smaller catering-focused businesses closing over the next six months.

"The energy crisis is a national emergency for business and will worsen as we go into the winter," he said in a video posted on the company's LinkedIn account.

"The energy crisis is going to impact everyone, not alone the business world, but also in the domestic market. Energy is going to be one of our biggest challenges over the next 12 months," he said.

Mr McDonagh, who operates the fast-food chain, a number of hotels and several motorway plazas, said the business had experienced a 150% increase in energy costs this year. He also predicted the increase would rise to 200% by Christmas.

The entrepreneur suggested that steps could be taken to ease concerns around energy security by exploring the possible reopening of two ESB-owned peat-fired power stations in Lanesborough, Co Longford and Shannonbridge, Co Offaly. The plants closed in December 2020 and the ESB plans to demolish them to make way for electrical grid system support technology hubs.

Mr McDonagh also floated the idea of restarting the 70 wind turbines at Derrybrien in Co Galway.