McCauley’s chip van, a staple diet in East Donegal for the best part of the last five decades, has served its last meal.
Since 1973, the McCauley’s have nourished homes from Castlefin to St Johnston – and all corners in between.
Picture: Danny McCauley, in his famous chip van, has decided to retire. Picture by Martin Crawford Photography.
Last May, during the red alert warning for Storm Emma, Danny and Dympna McCauley decided not to risk it – meaning a first scheduled night missed in 45 years.
Homes across that pocket of Donegal were infused with the scent of the fish and chips, or whatever the order of preference was on a given night.
Now, though, the blue and white van, dotted along the countryside at its regular points, will be no more.
“Danny, after years of driving around and bringing Fish ‘n’ Chips to his customers, has decided to retire,” the couple confirmed in a Facebook post.
“This was not an easy decision to make for Danny but it was necessary due to health reasons.
“We are aware of how sudden this is but he had already decided for himself in December that he was going to finish sometime soon and after a lot of discussions with myself and our children, we all came to the conclusion that the time was right for him to stop the van now.
“So, after all these years and numerous bags of chips sold and miles travelled, Danny’s Chipvan has run its last route.”
The run started in the 70s when the van was known as ‘Charlie’s Chips’ and the McCauley’s went to great lengths at times to make sure their customers weren’t disappointed. Take the famous story of the van breaking down and Danny, true to his hungry faithful, borrowed a tractor to tow the van!
The McCauley’s said: “We’ve had the best and most loyal customers that any business could ask for and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your custom and loyalty to us all these years.
“We are so very sorry you’re not going to get the chance to have that one last Fish Supper before we stop. Believe us, it is heartbreaking for us to have to do it this way but Danny will not be handing his route over to anyone in his name.
“From all The McCauleys: For your custom and loyalty to us over the years, waiting on us in the snow, wind, rain and the odd storm as we prepared the best food we were able to – go raibh míle maith agaibh go léir.”