Saturday, 21 October, 2017

Irish court approves Apple's $1 billion 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
Melissa Porter | 12 October, 2017, 17:54

Galway Bay fm newsroom - Apple campaigners have been celebrating at the commercial court in Dublin and in Athenry town and surrounds.

Justice Paul McDermott ruled that Apple should be granted permission to build the data centre on Ireland's west coast.

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.

Independent TD for Galway East Sean Canney and several members of Apple for Athenry, a group of local people who support the development, were in court for the judgments.

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.

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.

The data centre is expected to cost €850 million (£762 million) and create over 100 new jobs.

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.

Ireland's High Court dismissed two appeals against building the centre while the company announced they will be building a similar centre in Denmark.

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

AWS initially received permission from Fingal County Council to proceed with the project, before Daly and another co-objector sought to contest the decision with ABP.

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

Apple managed to get the case fast-tracked through Ireland's Commercial Court after it filed a request last November. This prompted 2,000 local people from Athenry to march in support of the data centre previous year.