The Commercial Court has paved the way for work to begin on Apple’s €850m data centre in Athenry, Co Galway.
It refused the applications of two local residents who wanted An Bord Pleanála’s decision to grant planning permission to be quashed.
They accused the planning board of not carrying out the required environmental assessment.
VIDEO Some happy campaigners from 'Apple for Athenry' after Commercial Court paved way for work to begin on €850m data centre in the town pic.twitter.com/BNSRlPh1mQ
— Frank Greaney (@FrankGreaney) October 12, 2017
Apple’s decision to build one of two new data centres in Athenry was announced with great fanfare.
The then Taoiseach Enda Kenny described it as “very significant investment in the West of Ireland with significant knock-on benefits”.
That was February 2015, but not a single sod has since been turned, and that’s because not everybody in Athenry wants the €850m facility to be built in their town.
Galway County Council’s decision to grant planning permission was appealed to An Bord Pleanála which subsequently gave the project its seal of approval.
But two local residents went to the courts where they were granted a judicial review of the board’s decision.
They claimed An Bord Pleanála granted permission without carrying out a proper Environmental Impact Assessment.
But Mr Justice Paul McDermott ruled against them today in a judgement spanning just under 70 pages.
His decision was welcomed by Noel Doherty from the lobby group Apple for Athenry who’d made the trip to Dublin to hear the result in person:Having considered all of the evidence, Mr Justice McDermott said he felt the applicants hadn’t established the grounds advanced.
The case will be mentioned again next week and the opposing residents may yet appeal today’s decision, but Mr Doherty says that’s for another day and he hopes today’s result will lead to more investment in the west.