My Donegal… with entrepreneur Eddie Tobin

first_imgEddie Tobin is the proprietor of Tobin’s Service Station in Letterkenny.Eddie (pictured above with his wife Annette) was recently named Business Person of the Year for 2016 by Letterkenny Chamber.Tobin’s Service Station is well known for fantastic service, great food, and friendly staff. Nationally and locally, Tobin’s Service Station has won countless awards, having recently won gold for Hygiene & Food Safety and several Topaz awards. This is Eddie’s Donegal…(1) What is your favourite place in Donegal and why?My favourite place is Fanad, birthplace of my mum Mary (nee McAteer). We go here as often as we can. Beauty, peace, tranquility, Fanad has it all. With the opening of Fanad lighthouse to the public more and more people will come visit and see for themselves the beauty of Fanad. (2) If you could change one thing about Donegal what would it be?The road infrastructure. The poor road network is a detriment to people visiting, companies locating in our county with my own town of Letterkenny being an absolute bottleneck, traffic disaster, the new link road over Swilly should have been done in Celtic tiger days.(3) Who is the one person in Donegal that you look up to and why?I can’t name one person but I have great admiration for the unsung heroes locally like my first Ballyraine soccer manager Andy O Boyle who spent (and still spends) his lifetime working for the youth in the county, fundraising for Donegal Hospice etc.Another is Seamus Devine who also puts immense effort into our youth and fundraising for Relay for Life and others. These and others like them go through life giving greatly to their local communities without ever seeking personal recognition or gain.(4) Daniel O’Donnell or Packie Bonner?My wife Annette is a Dungloe woman so I will be careful here. We met Packie in shop in Lanzarote last year while on holidays. Even though he was on hols himself he was happy to spend time and stand and get photos taken with kids in our party (3 families together). A Donegal legend and a gentleman.I remember also a night many years ago when Daniel was in for fuel late one night and his driver put petrol in their diesel car in error. Daniel was rushing to get to a wake in Letterkenny but did not get one bit flustered or upset and was a gentleman to all on our site while he waited for another car to come collect him.(5) What has been Donegal’s proudest moment in recent years?All Ireland 2012. I thought being lucky enough to be at Croke park in 1992 that I may never see another Donegal all Ireland win, this one being even more special as Annette and our 3 children Patrick, Kieran and Alisha were all at the game with us to experience it.(6) What was Donegal’s saddest moment?Clonmany road tragedy. (7) What is your favourite Donegal-made product?Football special. As a child going to sports day at the Fanad festival we looked forward to the rare treat of a bottle of Football special.(8) Who is Donegal’s greatest ambassador around the world and why?The current Irish soccer captain Seamus Coleman epitomizes all that is good about Donegal people. He is a leader, modest, has grafted for all he has achieved, and comes across as an absolute gentleman No airs and graces.. Please God Ireland will qualify for next world cup in Russia and he will lead our Natonal team on the world stage.(9) Who is Donegal’s most successful businessperson in your opinion?Hard one this but I would say Jim McGettigan. He started as a maitre d on the Queen Elizabeth liner and now leads a worldwide hospitality empire.(10) Who is your favourite Donegal sportsperson of all time?My all time favourite is still competing at the top level. Best player in the country, works selflessly for the team, modest and a gentleman, can’t look past Michael Murphy. (11) What is your favourite Donegal restaurant?Being a Letterkenny man I can’t look beyond my home town. Hard to beat Arena 7 for a steak and service second to none. Station House also provides superb food and service. Letterkenny is blessed with quality eating places.(12) Donegal’s golden eagles or basking sharks?I will go for golden eagles. In business I have come across quite a few sharks so no great love for them!(13) What is your favourite Donegal saying or expression?Jesus it would founder you outside. Unfortunately with our climate this is said quite often.My least favourite is “the aul man” especially since I heard my son on the end of the phone telling his friends his “aul man” was coming to collect him.(14) What is the biggest challenge facing the people of Donegal today?Mental health is still a major issue in our county and one which could not have enough time and resourses spent on it.(15) What is your favourite Donegal food?I had a burger at last year’s Mary from Dungloe festival, from Ballyholey farm angus beef, it will take some beating.(16) Is there anything that really annoys you about Donegal or its people?I love Donegal and could not imagine living anywhere else. Nothing annoys me about Donegal people, now the Dubs… Stephen Maguire will probably edit that out!(17) If you had a million euro to spend on improving something in Donegal, what would it be?A million would not even start to look at the road / bridge needed in Letterkenny so I think it would have to be on an all weather sports facility (4g) that would enable us to further develop our youth all year round. Donegal is sadly behind other counties in having a top standard facility.(18) What’s the most rewarding part of being an entrepreneur?We are immensely proud of our business and find it rewarding when our business and staff are recognised both loacally and also in National awards, most notably the overall Nation Q Mark Award for Hygiene and Food Safety in 2015.(19) Is there anything to gave you the get-up-and-go to become an entrepreneur?My late father Pat put his heart and soul into starting and developing Tobin’s Service Station. Sadly he passed away in 1999 at only 67 years of age. His commitment to business and customer service gave me the incentive to carry on his legacy and do the best we can with the business he had started from a green field with my mother Mary.(20) Is there anything about Donegal that you are very proud of? We have a beautiful county and an awful lot of great people in it. There is so much to be proud of in Donegal.My Donegal… with entrepreneur Eddie Tobin was last modified: November 20th, 2016 by Elaine McCalligShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img

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