By Conor Kenny
After a two-year legal battle, the proposed Apple Athenry data center is to finally go ahead after Mr. Justice Paul McDermott rejected an appeal against an earlier review in the High Court yesterday.
The site at Derrydonnell woods, the first phase of a planned €850 million development plan, near Athenry was first put forward in February of 2015 and was approved by Galway City Council in September of that year. That decision was appealed to An Bord Pleanála and the proposed development has faced a long battle since then.
One of the main issues at the centre of the objections to the proposed site was that An Bord Pleanála had failed to carry out a full Environmental Impact Assessment. Following from this were the concerns about the potential impact the site could have on the local environment and the possibility that it may result in an increase in CO emissions and therefore make it more difficult for Ireland to meet its greenhouse emission targets.
The site is expected to generate hundreds of jobs between the construction of the site itself as well as permanent staff positions on the site for the Galway region as well as having positive effects on the local economy. Many local residents of the Athenry area, as well as local TDs, have welcomed the High Court’s decision and the benefits it can bring to Athenry and the West of Ireland. Whilst the possibility remains that the decision of the High Court may be appealed the hope is that the development of the project can finally begin.