Published: Thu, October 12, 2017
Health | By Jay Jacobs

Court Rules In Favour Of Apple's Athenry Data Centre

Court Rules In Favour Of Apple's Athenry Data Centre

Ireland today gave the green light for tech giant Apple to build an 850-million-euro (USD 1.0- billion) data centre following a battle with conservationists who were seeking to preserve a forest.

The €850m investment has been held up for years while a similar project in Denmark - originally announced alongside the Galway plans - is now close to completion.

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.

The case will be mentioned again next week and the opposing residents may yet appeal today's decision, but Mr Doherty says that's for another day and he hopes today's result will lead to more investment in the west.

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 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.

Apple wants to use the data centre to store European user data and to help power online services, including the iTunes Store, the App Store, iMessage, Maps, and Siri for customers across Europe.

The Danish centre is on track to begin operations, but the Derrydonnell facility has been bogged down with legal challenges to the planning process.

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

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.

Following oral hearings the planning authority confirmed the permission in August of past year. That board in turn approved the project, but further objections were made to the High Court in Ireland.

Apple had sought to have the cases fast-tracked in the Commercial Court, the big business division of the High Court, saying it was very anxious to proceed with the development. This prompted 2,000 local people from Athenry to march in support of the data centre past year.

Like this: