Judge: You're getting an Apple data centre and you're going to like it

Irish High Court rejects another appeal against €850m bit barn


The Irish High Court has rejected a further appeal in the long-running battle against Apple's plans to build a data centre on the Emerald Isle.

The saga has been running for more than two years, since Apple announced plans to build an €850m data centre near Athenry, County Galway, Ireland, back in February 2015.

Cupertino was granted permission from Galway County Council about six months later – but the project was stopped in its tracks when local residents took issue.

They cited concerns about pollution, energy consumption and impact on the local bat and badger populations, and three people launched lawsuits to try to scrap the project.

Brian McDonagh's suit was turned down in February, while Sinead Fitzpatrick and Allan Daly's were denied just last month.

However, Fitzpatrick and Daly were granted the right to appeal the decision, and the dynamic duo did just that.

Today, though, it seems the dream might be well and truly over, as Justice McDermott refused their application to appeal.

McDermott's ruling said the court did not believe the case was in the public interest, or raised a point of law of exceptional public importance.

He also noted that the crux of their argument was that too little attention had been paid to the environmental impact of Apple's "masterplan" for the region, which was to build eight data halls and ancillary services.

But, McDermott said, the court was satisfied that the board had considered the overall development, and was fully aware that further phases of work would need a full impact assessment and further permissions.

Apple will now no doubt begin pushing ahead with the delayed construction – its Danish bit barn, announced at the same time as the Irish one, is set to open next year. ®

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