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

Artists impression of proposed data centre

"This had been a long-drawn out process, yet the local community and Apple have continuously demonstrated their commitment to the project and to investing in Ireland".

Speaking at the inaugural Datacloud Ireland event in late September, Patrick Breen, Irish minister of state for business, enterprise and innovation, said any changes that are pushed through would centre on addressing the amount of time it takes to get a final decision on whether a build can proceed.

The data centre is expected to cost €850 million (£762 million) and create over 100 new jobs.

The proposed €850m project was first announced in February 2015 but has remained in development limbo due to a number of legal challenges.

The data center will represent one of the largest capital investment projects in western Ireland, and will provide 300 construction jobs and 150 on-site permanent jobs, Reuters noted.

The Danish centre will be up and running by the end of the year.

Apple wants to build the data centre in this forest.Business Insider/Sam SheadApple wants to build eight data halls on a 500-acre site in Derrydonnell Forest, which is owned by state-sponsored forestry firm Coillte, and situated roughly three miles from Athenry.

Galway County Council granted permission in Sept 2015 but that was appealed to An Bord Pleanála. Following public hearings in Galway last summer, An Bord Pleanála gave Apple the go-ahead to build the facility last August.

At 11.25 this morning the Commercial Court refused an application from local residents Sinead Fitzpatrick and Allan Daly to overturn a grant of planning permission by An Bord Pleanala.

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

Computer Weekly contacted Apple for a statement, seeking clarification on when it plans to begin the build, but had received no response at the time of publication.

Apple has its European headquarters in Ireland and employs thousands of people in Cork, roughly two hours drive from Athenry.

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

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