West reawakens as Apple gets green light to build Athenry 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

Apple's data centre ambitions for the west of Ireland are now set to blossom.

"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". Objectors are likely to appeal the court's decision, meaning it could end up in the Supreme Court.

The objectors' main concern was the poor environmental impact assessment carried out by Apple.

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

The Denmark data centre is expected to go live later this year but the project in Athenry is yet to commence.

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.

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 was expected to be made in July, but was delayed until October thanks to a lack of High Court judges.

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

"I hope now that our public representatives will help us to develop the west coast of Ireland and to bring companies like Apple in to Athenry - and make Athenry a hub town for the whole of the west coast". This prompted 2,000 local people from Athenry to march in support of the data centre previous year.

On Sunday Patently Apple posted a report titled "A Hardy Group of Irishman from Athenry attended a Rally today Supporting Apple's Proposed Data Centre".

Apple did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.

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