Science

Apple gets green-light to build major data centre in Ireland

Apple gets green-light to build major data centre in Ireland”

Apple has finally been granted permission to build its €850M ($1B) European data center in Ireland, more than two-and-a-half years after it was first announced.

Mr Justice Paul McDermott today rejected both challenges to the centre at Derrydonnell, Athenry.

It said the centre would create hundreds of jobs and is a critical piece of infrastructure necessary to deal with the exponential growth in demand for data processing and storage.

A spokesperson for Apple said that the company is not commenting on the judgment at this time.

At its peak, the investment in Galway is estimated to be worth more than €1bn and would put Ireland on the global digital map as well as encouraging more digital investments and data centres to go west.

The decision does not end the process, however.

The objectors' main concern was the poor environmental impact assessment carried out by Apple.

Without even having started to power Apple's services, the company's data centre in Athenry has already made some profound changes in Irish regulations and citizens involvement. The Danish site is understood to be already up and running.

Planning permission was granted by the local council six months later, but a series of appeals blocked Apple from beginning work.

Two years ago, Apple announced its plans to build the data centre in Athenry, with a sister data centre also announced for Denmark.

A decision on Apple's Irish data centre was expected to be passed in July but a shortage of High Court judges pushed the verdict back to October.

That decision was re-affirmed by An Bord Pleanála in August 2016 - however the project has been delayed by a judicial review undertaken by three objectors to the project.

The case will return to the courts on Monday, where it will be decided whether or not a further appeal can be made against Apple. Around the same time, thousands of people in Athenry marched in favour of the data centre.



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