Updated: 10/05/18 : 10:18:05
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Apple scraps plans for €850m data centre in Galway

Technology giant Apple has announced it will not pursue its plans to build a new data centre in Athenry, Co Galway.

Objectors to the proposed €850m facility had decided to take their case to the Supreme Court in December.

It followed a High Court judgement in November that seemed to pave the way for works to begin.

Apple had planed to build a state-of-the-art data centre on a 500 acre Coillte-owned site just outside Athenry.

However, a number of local residents raised concerns about the potential environmental impact of the project and accused An Bord Pleanála of not carrying out a proper assessment.

The Commercial Court also ruled against the objectors in October.

The company statement said: "We’ve been operating in Ireland since 1980 and we're proud of the many contributions we make to the economy and job creation. In the last two years we've spent over €550 million with local companies and, all told, our investment and innovation supports more than 25,000 jobs up and down the country.

"We're deeply committed to our employees and customers in Ireland and are expanding our operations in Cork, with a new facility for our talented team there.

"Several years ago we applied to build a data centre at Athenry. 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.”

Business Minister Heather Humphreys has said she regrets the decision.

The Minister said: "I very much regret that Apple will not be pursuing its plans to construct a data centre in Athenry, especially as the project would have been a source of significant investment and job creation for Galway and the West of Ireland.

"Notwithstanding this bad news, I welcome that Apple have confirmed that they are strongly committed to their existing operations in Ireland."

"The Government recognises the important role that data centre investments can - and still will - have in contributing to economic growth and job creation in Ireland.

"That’s why we agreed, in October 2017, to the implementation of a strengthened policy framework to support their continued development.

"That framework includes a number of actions which, once fully implemented, will help us attract and sustain such investments in the future, especially in regional locations."