Apple get go-ahead to build data centre in Athenry

Apple data center plan

A computer-generated image of Apple's first Irish data

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.

Mr. Justice Paul McDermott ruled against them this morning however, and they'll now have to decide whether they want to appeal.

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.

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Garry Connolly, Founder and President, Host in Ireland, told Data Economy: "We are delighted that the planning process has had a successful outcome for the Apple Data Hosting Centre in Galway".

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 intends to use the data centre to store European user data from services such as iMessage, iTunes and the App store.

Apple first announced the data centre in February 2015.

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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.

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 previous year.

But local residents Sinéad Fitzpatrick, Allan Daly, and Wicklow landowner Brian McDonagh asked Ireland's High Court for a judicial review on environmental grounds.

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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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