Supermac's has secured planning permission for a €10m Barack Obama style motorway plaza outside Ennis off the M18 motorway.

The grant by Clare County Council for the development at Kilbreckan, Doora outside Ennis is the latest twist in the long running planning saga that has been going on for just under five years.

The fast food business lodged its first plan in January 2016 for a motorway plaza outside Ennis and the Council has now granted planning to the third planning application for the plaza in spite of opposition from a number of local Ennis businesses to the plan.

A previous application was marred in controversy after it emerged in 2018 that bogus letters of support were lodged with the Council.

At the time, Supermac's stated that it was it was 'horrified' to learn about the bogus letters from the media "and disowns the actions taken and wants to distance itself completely from them".

On Friday, chief executive of Supermac's, Pat McDonagh stated that he was "delighted" with the Council’s decision.

Mr McDonagh stated that such an motorway service area is needed.

"There is nothing on that motorway between Limerick and Tuam. There is something going to go on it somewhere and it will be a big loss to Ennis if they don’t get one there," he stated.

"I believe that it will be very good for Clare and for Ennis and good for employment in that area."

Mr McDonagh said that the plan will provide around 100 jobs.

"It is a win-win situation," he said.

Mr McDonagh claimed that the Ennis proposal is not of the same scale as the Obama plaza at Moneygall.

He added that a lot of local people have been asking him over the last number of years 'when are ye going to open in Ennis?'"

"There is a need for it obviously otherwise they wouldn’t be asking the question," he said.

Mr McDonagh stated that similar Supermac's developments outside other towns have not negatively impacted on those towns.

One group objection from five local businesses who are all members of the Ennis Chamber of Commence stated that due to the excessive scale of the the proposal, it "will act as a counter attraction" to Ennis and Clarecastle and "have a detrimental impact on the vitality and viability of those centres".

Third parties have the option of appealing the Council decision to An Bord Pleanala and Mr McDonagh stated that he didn’t know if the decision will be appealed.