Friday 27 April 2018

Apple planning delay on €850m project is damaging Ireland’s quest for multinational jobs – Dáil told

An artist’s impression of the data centre planned for Athenry in Co Galway
An artist’s impression of the data centre planned for Athenry in Co Galway
John Downing

John Downing

Delays on granting planning for a major €850m Apple data centre in Athenry in Co Galway will also damage Irish efforts to bring in more multinational jobs, the Dáil has heard.

Galway West Independent TD, Noel Grealish, said he believed that the Apple corporation was frustrated with planning delays and there were fears that the planned Athenry jobs could be transferred to another company development in Denmark.

Mr Grealish said that there were also concerns that Apple’s experience may discourage other multinational firms investing in Ireland. “Taoiseach this is not about Galway – this is about Ireland,” the Independent TD said.

Read More: Apple warns Ireland that delays could put €1 billion Athenry project 'at risk'

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he shared Deputy Grealish’s views on the issue and he acknowledged the risk to Athenry and to other projects across the country.

He had visited the Athenry site during the Dáil summer break and the project was the second biggest project in the west, only surpassed by the Gort-Tuam motorway.

Noel Grealish. Photo: Tom Burke
Noel Grealish. Photo: Tom Burke

Mr Varadkar said the Government was now looking at a change in the law to add data centres to the list of  vital infrastructure projects which can be put through the planning process more quickly.

The High Court is due to rule on a legal case concerning planning next month.

Online Editors

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