Facebook to boost Irish jobs to 1,000
Facebook's total employment is set to hit 1,000 people in Ireland this year as it submits official plans for a €200m data centre in Meath.
The move will make the social media giant one of Ireland's biggest tech employers and represents a near-doubling in its Irish base over the last year as revenue and profits grow.
The new centre will be built near Clonee, close to the Meath-Dublin border.
Facebook recently moved into a bigger building in Dublin's "Silicon Docks" and now employs over 900 people here.
The new data centre is expected to employ several hundred workers during its construction.
"Similar investments by Facebook have typically led to an economic impact in the order of hundreds of millions of euros, with thousands of jobs supported," said a spokesman for Facebook.
The new data centre will be the company's second in Europe and fifth worldwide. Facebook aims to power the facility solely through "renewable" energy, most likely wind.
Apple's recently-announced €850m data centre in Athenry is also to be powered solely by renewable energy, according to Apple.
"Ireland has been a home for Facebook since 2007 and today's planning application demonstrates our continued interest to invest in Ireland," said Rachel Peterson, data centre director in Facebook.
"We hope to build an innovative, environmentally friendly data centre that will help us continue to connect people in Ireland and around the world while supporting local job creation and Ireland's successful technology economy. We look forward to continuing our conversations with the Clonee community in coming weeks."
Ireland's mild climate suits data centres, and some multinationals are also establishing or expanding here ahead of a European Court of Justice ruling which could tighten rules on data transfers between Europe and the US.
Ireland is seen as a favourable location within Europe to locate data-centric activities.
"Facebook's existing relationship with Ireland is extremely strong and extensive in scope, but the news that the company wants to build its second European data centre in a regional location such as Meath will cement the relationship even further," said Martin Shanahan, chief executive of IDA Ireland.