Apple get go-ahead to build data centre in Athenry

Pat Wise
October 12, 2017

At 11.25 this morning the Commercial Court refused applications to overturn a decision to grant planning permission to Apple to build the data centre in Athenry.

High Court judge Paul McDermott on Thursday dismissed two separate appeals against the planning permission, clearing the way for the project to proceed.

Data Economy has requested Apple to comment on the court's ruling.

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.

Ireland's global business reputation has been damaged by delays to the Apple data centre in Athenry, according to IBEC.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar met Apple executives last month and said they had made clear their frustration with the planning and judicial delays and warned the process would color decisions that they might make about future investments.

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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 centre will be up and running by the end of the year. An Apple facility in Denmark announced at the same time is near completion, while the construction of the Athenry site has not yet begun.

Galway County Council granted permission in Sept 2015 but that was appealed to An Bord Pleanála.

"I hope now that our public representatives will help us to develop the west coast of Ireland and to bring companies like Apple in to Athenry - and make Athenry a hub town for the whole of the west coast".

A number of local residents challenged An Bord Pleanála's decision amid concerns it hadn't carried out the necessary environmental assessment.

Up to 2,000 residents marched through Athenry in support of the data centre development back in November 2016.

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