Ireland’s fast food capitals revealed

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By Ciara Lydon

A north Dublin town has been found to be the fast-food Mecca of Ireland.

In a new survey Swords was found to have the largest amount of large fast food chains; McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC, Subway, Domino’s and Costa, per head.

In light of the recent media attention over the country’s obesity crisis, the survey reports that Swords has a population of only 36,924 but is home to a total of nine large-chain fast food eateries. This is a staggering 0.24 outlets per 1000 people.

Online health treatment site Treated (, who commissioned the survey also found that Swords is the town with the most McDonalds restaurants, with one store for every 18,642 people.

The top ten fast food-filled towns are as follows:

  1. Swords
  2. Limerick
  3. Cork
  4. Waterford
  5. Dundalk
  6. Galway
  7. Dublin
  8. Drogheda
  9. Navan
  10. Bray

Although Dublin had the most fast food outlets with a total of 96, it has a much greater population so its final standing was in the middle of the list. Significantly, the list mainly includes towns in the east of Ireland. In terms of population, Swords is very similar to Navan and Bray. However, these two towns finished at the bottom of the list, highlighting just how many outlets Swords has.

The survey has been criticised by some however for only including the ‘Big Six’ chain restaurants. They feel if other outlets such as Supermac’s as well as fish and chip shops and other coffee shops had been included, the overall list could have differed.

The survey highlights the accessibility of fast food in many towns in Ireland and how it could possibly be contributing to the obesity crisis. Currently, 66 per cent of men aged over 20, and 50.9 per cent of women aged over 20, are considered to be overweight or obese. This is well above the European average of 47.6 per cent.



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