Court rejects appeal against €850m Apple project in Athenry

Artists impression of proposed data centre

Artists impression of proposed data centre

The Commercial Court has backed An Bord Pleanála's decision to grant permission to Apple to build an €850m data centre near Athenry, Co Galway.

The decision was made by Justice Paul McDermott, who ruled that Apple should be granted permission to build the data centre, despite objections from local residents.

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.

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

The huge project has been plagued by delays over the last two years after a small number of people objected to its construction, citing environmental issues and other concerns.

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 Denmark data centre is expected to go live later this year but the project in Athenry is yet to commence. They alleged the facility would have a negative impact on people living around the site, and also on the fauna and flora at the Derrydonnell Woods, around Athenry, east of Galway, where the data centre is to be built.

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

Apple was given the go-ahead to proceed with the development by Galway County Council in February 2015.

"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".

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. This prompted 2,000 local people from Athenry to march in support of the data centre previous year.

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