Over the weekend, more than 300 people in Ireland staged a rally in support of Apple’s proposed 850 million ($960 million) euro data center in Athenry, County Galway.
The new data center was officially given the go-ahead over two years ago, although construction on it has been delayed by continuing legal issues. If built, the data center will help power Apple Music, the App Store, iMessages, Maps and Siri — while providing plenty of jobs to locals.
The issues that the data center has so far faced include everything from the amount of power it will require (supposedly more than the city of Dublin) to potential impact on local bats and badgers, protected species that live in the nearby forest. The 300+ person rally which took place over the weekend was titled the “Apple for Athenry” campaign group.
They staged their march ahead of next week’s final verdict on whether or not Apple will be allowed to build its data center.
Their main argument in favor of Apple comes down to the number of jobs it will help create. This will include 300 construction jobs over multiple phases during the course of building the giant data center, along with 150 technical positions on an ongoing basis. Since Apple first arrived in Ireland in the early 1980s, the number of jobs it represents has increased from 100 to more than 4,000.
Support for Apple in Ireland
Apple and Ireland have continued to show their support for one another in recent years. Last week, the European Commission announced that it is taking Ireland to court for failing to collect the proper taxes from Apple. This followed a $15 billion tax bill to Apple after the E.C. concluded that Ireland had offered it a “sweetheart deal” which saw Apple pay the equivalent of as little as 0.005 percent on all European profits in 2014.
If Ireland is found guilty by the European Court of Justice, it may be fined for its failure to collect Apple’s money. Regardless, it has continued to fight on behalf of Apple.