Thursday, November 23, 2017

Shortage of judges halts decision on Apple’s €850m Ireland data centre

Company and opponents will now have to wait another week to hear the final decision from the Irish High Court on the project announced in 2015.

A shortage of judges has forced Irish authorities to postpone the decision on whether Apple is going to be allowed to build or not a €850m data centre in the country.

The project, one of Ireland’s largest foreign investments, was scheduled to be discussed at the Commercial Court in Dublin on June 23. A final decision is now expected a week later, on June 30.

The final verdict on the controversial development in Athenry was set to be announced by Mr Justice Paul McDermott, a judge of the High Court.

According to Galway Bay FM, Tim Cook’s company sent out to the court six Apple representatives.

Once the delegation arrived at the court, they were told by the court services that the building was closed due to a shortage of judges.

The new data centre was originally announced in February 2015 and was expected to come online in 2017. In August 2016 it received the green light from An Bord Pleanála.

However, objection started shortly after its announcement with locals claiming the data centre would have a negative impact in the local area by increasing traffic and noise pollution as well as affecting the local wildlife, especially bats and badgers who live in the Derrydonnell Forest, adjacent to the proposed construction 500-acre site.

In total, it only took three people to put the 166,000 sqm data centre on standby. This included local residents Sinéad Fitzpatrick and Allan Daly, and Wicklow landowner Brian McDonagh.

The three locals were already met with discordance from other 2,000 residents who marched through Athenry in support of the data centre development in November 2016.

Elsewhere, in October 2016, Apple announced a second large data centre on European soil, this time in Denmark, following Facebook’s investment in the country.

Expected to open in 2017, the data centre is being built in Foulum, Central Jutland, and represents a total investment of $950m.