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Irish High Court finally approves Apple's Athenry data centre

12 October 2017

The Commercial Court has refused applications to overturn a decision to grant planning permission to Apple to build an €850m data centre in Athenry, Co.

The decision to approve the planning permission was announced by judge Mr Justice McDermott from the High Court.

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 spokesperson for Apple said that the company is not commenting on the judgment at this time.

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Artists impression of proposed data centre.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar met Apple executives last month and said they had made clear their frustration with the planning and judicial delays and warned the process would color decisions that they might make about future investments.

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. 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 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.

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However, the fear Apple could indeed pull the plug on the development was taken serious by local residents in favour of the data centre, with many referring to Apple's announcement in October 2016 that it would build a large $950m data centre in Denmark.

The data centres in Athenry and Denmark's Jutland are to be host to popular Apple services such as iCloud, Apple Music, Siri and various e-commerce activities.

Galway County Council granted permission in Sept 2015 but that was appealed to An Bord Pleanála.

Paul Keane, from the Apple for Athenry Facebook group which has campaigned to allow the tech giant to build its data centre there, described the decision as "great news".

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Irish High Court finally approves Apple's Athenry data centre