Apple campaigners celebrate at commercial court and in Athenry town

Rodiano Bonacci
Ottobre 12, 2017

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

This morning Mr Justice Paul McDermott rejected that application - but put the case back for a week to allow them to respond.

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.

It has said it will be one of the biggest capital investment projects in the west of Ireland, providing 300 construction jobs and 150 on-site permanent jobs. It is expected that this appeal will be made and the process will continue.

When the project was announced, Apple said it meant to spend €1.7 billion (£1.5 billion) on a data centre in Ireland and another in Denmark, with each one costing €850 million (£762 million).

"This positive news coupled with Microsoft's commitment to power their Data Centres here on 100% Irish generated renewable power reaffirms our calibre as an optimum location to Host Digital assets".

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.

Work was due to get underway this year but the project was delayed due to a legal challenge to its planning permission.

In addition to the government's regulatory changes, people in Athenry have also become proactively vocal on the issue both through social media channels and on the streets. This prompted 2,000 local people from Athenry to march in support of the data centre a year ago.

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.

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