Ireland approves massive Apple data centre

Mindy Sparks
October 12, 2017

"This is a very important step for Athenry and for Apple", said Paul Keane, who heads up the Athenry for Apple Facebook page, which has over 4,000 members. It also appeared that the majority of the local population was in favor, given the jobs and income the center would bring to the area.

The Irish and Danish data centers are created to improve the performance of cloud services for European customers, including Siri, iMessage, iTunes, iMessage and Maps. An Apple facility in Denmark announced at the same time is near completion, while the construction of the Athenry site has not yet begun.

We (Irish) now need to tweak the planning process to include a time certainty to this process not just for Data Centres but for all large capital intense infrastructure projects. A decision was expected to be made in July, but was delayed until October thanks to a lack of High Court judges.

The following September, Galway County Council gave permission for it to proceed subject to conditions, but that decision was subsequently appealed to An Bord Pleanála.

Following oral hearings the planning authority confirmed the permission in August of previous year.


A number of local residents challenged An Bord Pleanála's decision amid concerns it hadn't carried out the necessary environmental assessment although the majority of Athenry residents are in favour the development and say it will secure the town's future.

However, Business Insider reports that Ireland's top court has now heard the case and ruled in Apple's favor, allowing the project to go ahead. This prompted 2,000 local people from Athenry to march in support of the data centre a year ago.

From 2015 to today, the Athenry data centre project was one of the most mediatic the industry has seen in years, with thousands taking to the streets in support for the development.

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

Apple did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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