Apple cancels plans for Ireland data center due to court delays

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Apple's original plans to build a state-of-the-art centre on a 500-acre site just outside the town of Athenry was first announced more than three years ago, was given permission by the High Court to begin works last November.

In a statement today the fruit-based brand said: "Despite our best efforts, delays in the approval process have forced us to make other plans and we will not be able to move forward with the data centre.

While disappointing, this setback will not dampen our enthusiasm for future projects in Ireland as our business continues to grow", Apple said in a statement.

Apple has chose to scratch its plans to develop a $1 billion data center in Ireland due to delays in the approval process that have stalled the project for years.

Galway East TD Seán slammed the slow pace of the process through the court system and warned this could scare off businesses considering investing in Ireland. It would have created around 50 permanent jobs and required around 300 construction contractors to build.

Speaking with The Independent, a company spokesperson said...

"We've always tried to attract jobs down here and take them out of the cities because the cities are bursting at the seams".

The whole case underscores some of the ongoing issues that apparently exist in Ireland over how data centers are planned and approved by local authorities, and there is talk of reforming that whole process, but that is not something Apple will get involved with at this point. "We've tried our best to campaign on behalf of it but it didn't seem to have any effect".

She said the Government did everything it could to support the investment.

Last October, Ireland's high court ruled that the data centre could proceed, dismissing the appellants, who took their case to the country's supreme court. But from what we understand, there was still some uncertainty that lingered, because opposition could have still taken the case to the Supreme Court to appeal once again.

The reason for the delays was that a number of local residents raised concerns about the potential environmental impact of the project - and accused An Bord Pleanala of not carrying out a proper assessment.

While many in the West of Ireland will be disappointed with the news, Humphreys pointed to the Government's continuing focus on the area: "Regional investment is a particular priority for the Government and for the IDA".