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Apple Cancels Plan for Contentious $1B Data Center in Ireland

Apple Cancels Plan for Contentious $1B Data Center in Ireland

Apple has given up on its planned $1 billion data center in Ireland. The Cupertino firm has dropped its plans to build the center in County Galway, Ireland due to three years of delays in the approval process because of pushback from local residents.


Apple announced plans in February 2015 to build the facility in the rural western town of Athenry to take advantage of green energy sources nearby, but a series of planning appeals, chiefly from two individuals, delayed its approval.

Ireland’s High Court ruled in October that the data center could proceed, dismissing the appellants who then took their case to the country’s Supreme Court.

“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,” Apple said in a statement ahead of the Supreme Court heading on Thursday.

“While disappointing, this setback will not dampen our enthusiasm for future projects in Ireland as our business continues to grow,” the company said. The company still plans to expand its European headquarters in County Cork where it employs over 6,000 people.

Apple’s decision to drop the project is certainly disappointing to the Irish government, which relies on foreign investment by companies like Apple for the creation of one in every 10 jobs across the Irish economy.

“There is no disputing that Apple’s decision is very disappointing, particularly for Athenry and the West of Ireland,” Ireland’s Minister for Business and Enterprise Heather Humphreys said in a statement.

“The Government did everything it could to support this investment… These delays have, if nothing else, underlined our need to make the State’s planning and legal processes more efficient.”

The government is currently working to amend its planning laws to define data centers as strategic infrastructure, which would allow companies to move through the planning process much faster.