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Appellants in Athenry data centre have until Monday to appeal court go-ahead

12 October 2017, 06:38 | Taylor George

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

However, by November past year, three objectors - local residents Sinéad Fitzpatrick and Allan Daly, and Wicklow landowner Brian McDonagh - received permission to seek a full judicial review of the Apple decision by An Bord Pleanála.

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.

The data center will represent one of the largest capital investment projects in western Ireland, and will provide 300 construction jobs and 150 on-site permanent jobs, Reuters noted.

"Today's decision has been a great decision for Athenry and the whole west of Ireland", he said. We noted that the decision on this matter would be handed down by the court on Thursday.

Apple in February 2015 announced plans to build the data centre in a rural location in the west of Ireland to take advantage of rich green energy sources nearby.

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Apple wants to build the data centre in this forest.Business Insider/Sam SheadApple wants to build eight data halls on a 500-acre site in Derrydonnell Forest, which is owned by state-sponsored forestry firm Coillte, and situated roughly three miles from Athenry. Following public hearings in Galway last summer, An Bord Pleanála gave Apple the go-ahead to build the facility last August.

The first challenge, instigated by environmental engineer Allan Daly and local legal expert Sinead Fitzpatrick, saw the pair contest an earlier decision by the Irish planning body, An Bord Plenala (ABP), to grant Apple permission to proceed with the build.

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. Around the same time, thousands of people in Athenry marched in favour of the data centre.

A similar Apple centre announced at the same time in Denmark is due to begin operations later this year and Apple has announced it will build a second data centre there.

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



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