Ireland’s High Court has rejected an appeal against Apple’s plans to build an 850 million euro ($960 million) data center in Athenry, County Galway. The rejection means that the project should finally, after much stalling, go ahead.
The appeal filed by several local residences objected to Apple’s plans due to their belief that it would have a negative impact on the environment. The judge said there was no basis for the objection being valid.
Apple’s new data center
Apple’s new data center was officially given the go-ahead over two years ago, although construction on it has been delayed by continuing legal issues. These have included criticisms such as the amount of power it will require (supposedly more than the city of Dublin) as well as its potential impact on local bats and badgers, protected species that live in the nearby forest.
However, objections against Apple have been more than counterbalanced by overwhelming local support, largely due to the number of jobs the data center will 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 has created in the country has risen from 100 to more than 4,000.
The new data center will help power Apple Music, the App Store, iMessages, Maps and Siri.
Support for Apple in Ireland
At present, Ireland and Apple are allied in their opposition to the European Union, which charged Apple with a $15 billion tax bill after concluding 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.
Ireland has yet to collect the money owed to it by Apple, which recently led to the European Court of Justice suing Ireland for its failure to do so.