Battle of Kinsale in debate over bringing fast food chain McDonald's to the town

Battle of Kinsale in debate over bringing fast food chain McDonald's to the town

Would the presence of fast food chain McDonald's compromise Kinsale's status as gourmet Capital of Ireland?

A DEBATE has begun online about whether or not fast food chain McDonald’s should open an outlet in Kinsale.

Two petitions, both of opposing views, have stirred up strong reaction from the public since appearing online.

The first petition uploaded to Change.org, was started by Michael Desmond who lives near Crosshaven. He then posted it to Facebook group Kinsale Notice Board.

Some people commenting online thought the petition was created as a joke, to stir reaction.

“Not only would many of us enjoy eating out at McDonalds, but it would bring lots of business, and attract potential tourists perhaps too," the petition states.

Later an opposing petition appeared online - created by Paul Stubbings, an Australian native, now living in Kinsale. 

It said: “I am not sure if this is serious. There is a campaign to get a McDonald's in Kinsale. I want to stop this.” 

Mr Desmond told the Evening Echo wanted to start a conversation and get people talking about the idea.

“I knew it was a very controversial topic, with Kinsale being known for more upscale food, but I thought perhaps with how the town is growing it could be an interesting idea,” he said.

“It obviously created quite a stir, but it seemed to be an almost even split of for and against.

“It was interesting to see though how many people viewed McDonald’s as too "American" for Kinsale, suggesting there's something unique about the town, which I was happy to see.” 

Mr Desmond has worked for the company previously, in America.

Kinsale resident Viv Maher said “it's all just one man’s idea” that, with “the powers of the Internet” has started a debate among locals.

“I personally think it would seriously downgrade the town and all that we stand for would be questioned if we entertained the idea at all,” she said.

“For a town that holds the title of Gourmet Capital of Ireland, it is bizarre that there is any support for the idea at all, but it seems there is.

“Even if it all turned out to be a joke, it still definitely started a debate around town!” 

It was Paul Stubbings, an Australian, living in Kinsale who started the opposing petition.

“I started the petition because Kinsale has a uniqueness and charm that is in danger of being over-run by chains.

“To have late night bars and late McDonald’s here would only encourage youth drinking and violence - just look at the McDonald’s in Cork around midnight to 3am.

“I was disappointed to see people supporting this. Kinsale is known as a gourmet capital. There is no doubt in my mind a McDonald's would compromise this.” 

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