Wednesday 16 January 2019

Thousands gather at rally supporting Apple's proposed new Irish data centre

An artist's impression of the new Apple data centre planned for Athenry, Co Galway
An artist's impression of the new Apple data centre planned for Athenry, Co Galway
Ian Begley

Ian Begley

More than 2,000 people have gathered at a rally in Athenry in support of Apple’s €850m data centre planned near the town.

Planning permission for the project was granted in August, but its development has been delayed due to legal challenges.

The solidarity march was organised by the newly formed ‘Athenry for Apple’ Facebook group.

Starting at 11.30 this morning, participants made their way towards the Square where a rally got underway.

Apple says 300 jobs will be created during the construction phase of the data centre with 150 people employed there once operational.

Despite potential lengthy delays due to the legal action, speakers at the rally urged Apple to stay committed to Athenry.

The 24,500 square metre data centre would cater for the company's Apple Music, App Store, Messages, Maps and Siri customers in Europe.

The facility is to be built on a greenfield site at Derrydonnell.

The demonstration was also attended by several protesters who feel the number of jobs created will not justify the amount of energy the planned facility would use.

Three objectors have asked the High Court to carry out a judicial review into how the planning permission was granted.

The case returns to court tomorrow when the multinational will for the case to be fast tracked.

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