Apple's $1 billion data centre gets Irish High Court green light

Artists impression of proposed data centre

Apple may proceed to build a 850 million euro ($1 billion) data center in Ireland, the High Court ruled on Thursday, bringing relief for the government after a two-year planning delay which it feared could hurt its reputation with investors.

Mr Justice Paul McDermott said he was refusing both applications from the objectors and that his reasons are set out in written judgments.

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 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.

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Ireland believes the project will create around 300 construction jobs and 150 permanent jobs.

Galway County Council granted Apple planning permission in September 2015 but eight objectors took the issue to local planning body An Bord Pleanála.

At its peak, the investment in Galway is estimated to be worth more than €1bn and would put Ireland on the global digital map as well as encouraging more digital investments and data centres to go west.

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

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The decision does not end the process, however.

Apple intends to use the data centre to store European user data from services such as iMessage, iTunes and the App store. However, the first hearing in June was delayed by a week, then it was held back to 27 July, with the final decision emerging today (12 October).

Apple managed to get the case fast-tracked through Ireland's Commercial Court after it filed a request last November. Around the same time, thousands of people in Athenry marched in favour of the data centre.

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