Fourteen people who had supported Supermac’s Ireland Ltd planned motorway services plaza have formally withdrawn their backing for the project – with some claiming their signatures were forged in withdrawal statement. The Clare Echo understands signatures of people abroad – and of the deceased – were used in the submissions.
In total, more than 190 submissions have been made regarding the development with 187 of these coming from Clarecastle residents, their names appeared on identical letters that The Clare Echo understands were all lodged by one individual.
This led to the local authority receiving queries from approximately forty people about their association with the application. Fourteen of these individuals subsequently wrote to the Council asking that their names be withdrawn from any submission.
The Clare Echo has obtained text from the withdrawal statements – one of which came in from Fine Gael TD Joe Carey. One married couple sent to Clare County Council who claim their signatures had been forged. The couple in question are seeking legal advice on how a submission could be put forward under their signature without their approval.
A Clarehill resident stated in an email that he withdraws ‘letter of support supposedly signed and submitted by him’. He stated that at no time was he or any member of his family approached or consulted… He views the action as ‘a misrepresentation of his family and himself and a wrongful and unauthorised use of his name and signature’.
A Lissane resident stated in his withdrawal letter – ‘someone has used my name without my knowledge’. This was a regular theme throughout, with one person from Barntick saying he “did not sign such a document” and said the signature on the letter submitted is not his signature. One person from Killoo stated that his nickname was used in a signature, however the person in question “would never use it for anything official”. A resident of the Ennis Road, Clarecastle said he has “serious concerns” that his name was used under false pretences to support a development in the area which he was not consulted about.
A spokesperson for Clare County Council told The Clare Echo that they had “been contacted by up to 40 individuals during Thursday evening and Friday to enquire about their association with the planning application. The contact follows Clare County Council’s issuing of a receipt for individual submissions on the relevant planning application.
“These persons have been advised by Clare County Council to write to the local authority if they do not wish to be associated with the planning application in order for the relevant submission to be withdrawn. Clare County Council encourages any other individual who has received a submission receipt and who does not wish to be associated with the planning application to contact the local authority in writing confirming their position: by email (firstname.lastname@example.org), by post (Planning Office, Clare County Council, New Road, Ennis, Co. Clare) or by delivering a letter directly to the Planning Office frontdesk”.
When contacted by The Clare Echo, Supermac’s stated their shock with the argument that letters of support were forged. The fast food franchise first became aware of the issue when answering a query from Clare FM.
“Today’s reports that a number of submissions to the Planning Authority purported to be made by a number of individuals were not in fact made by them is shocking to the company. If such be the case the company utterly condemns such action. Supermac’s disowns such support for its planned development. The company remains committed to the delivery of an outstanding motorway service area at Kilbreckan”, a spokesperson told The Clare Echo.