Ireland Finally Approves Apple's $1.3 Billion CAD Data Centre

Mollie Spellman from Athenry during the rally in support of Apple’s Athenry data centre plans in the town on Sunday

Mollie Spellman from Athenry during the rally in support of Apple’s Athenry data centre plans in the town on Sunday

There was a hearing to discuss the data centre in April 2016.

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. "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".

It had initially looked like permission would be a formality, with Apple vowing to hide the center in forest land, fully restoring all the temporary damage done, and to power it entirely from renewable energy.

The data centre is expected to cost €850 million (£762 million) and create over 100 new jobs. Thousands marched in support of the project but but the appeals have significantly delayed the start of construction.

The data center will be one of the biggest capital investment projects in west Ireland, providing 300 constructions jobs and 150 on-site permanent jobs.

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Apple argued Mr McDonagh had made no submissions to Galway County Council in respect of the original planning application and nor had he appealed to the Board before bringing his case.

Ireland's global business reputation has been damaged by delays to the Apple data centre in Athenry, according to IBEC. Today, the Irish High Court has ruled to dismiss Daly and Fitzpatrick's arguments. 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.

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. The company's relationship with the country is at an interesting point, with the European Commission ordering the Irish government to claim back €13 billion (£11.7 billion) in back taxes.

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

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