Sunday 19 August 2018

In Athenry they hope Apple's data centre brings business in its wake

Shopkeeper Susan Dooley. Photo: Andrew Downes, XPOSURE
Shopkeeper Susan Dooley. Photo: Andrew Downes, XPOSURE
Caroline Crawford

Caroline Crawford

As businesses opened their doors in Athenry yesterday most were breathing a sigh of relief.

The town has weathered a tough recession and while the mood for the future is positive some were wondering just how long they could sustain business without a serious injection into the town.

A local welcoming the data centre at a march. Photo: XPOSURE
A local welcoming the data centre at a march. Photo: XPOSURE

This week's court decision to allow the €850m Apple data centre to go ahead was what many were hoping for. Eamon and Catherine Neary have run The Shopping Basket grocery store in the town for the past 30 years. Following the closure of Centra earlier this year, it is now the only grocery shop in the centre of Athenry.

"We're the last one standing and we've see a lot of changes over the years. We hope there are very good times coming. The town would go on anyway but not at the same rate if this Apple development doesn't happen," said Eamon.

Auctioneer Pat Callanan. Photo: Andrew Downes, XPOSURE
Auctioneer Pat Callanan. Photo: Andrew Downes, XPOSURE

"It's not just Apple but what it could bring with it," he added.

Auctioneer Pat Callanan, who has run a business in the town for 20 years, has seen a rise in interest in properties locally.

"It is on the road to recovery and we've been seeing a rise in calls. It's not really about Apple but what will come on the back of Apple. The IDA controls so much land here and if other businesses follow it will have a major impact," he said.

Although objectors have until Monday lunchtime to lodge an appeal, locals are hopeful that this is the end of the saga.

Irish Independent

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