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

12 Октября 2017

Ireland on Thursday gave the green light for tech giant Apple to build an 850-million-euro ($1.0-billion) data centre following a battle with conservationists who were seeking to preserve a forest.

The decision was made by Justice Paul McDermott, who ruled that Apple should be granted permission to build the data centre, despite objections from local residents.

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).

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"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 decision does not end the process, however.

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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.

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.

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

Apple intends to use the data centre to store European user data from services such as iMessage, iTunes and the App store. A decision was expected to be made in July, but was delayed until October thanks to a lack of High Court judges.

The first case was by Sinead Fitzpatrick and Allan Daly, whose home at Lisheenkyle, Athenry, is close to the proposed centre.

Up to 2,000 residents marched through Athenry in support of the data centre development back in November 2016.

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