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Ireland approves massive Apple data centre

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Artists impression of proposed data centre

Apple first announced plans to build the data center in February 2015, in a rural area located in western Ireland that had green energy sources nearby.

They accused the planning board of not carrying out the required environmental assessment.

The Danish centre is on track to begin operations, but the Derrydonnell facility has been bogged down with legal challenges to the planning process.

Mr. Justice Paul McDermott ruled against them this morning however, and they'll now have to decide whether they want to appeal. All looked good when the company was granted the "final" go-ahead last summer, until three residents filed a High Court appeal.

Independent TD for Galway East Sean Canney and several members of Apple for Athenry, a group of local people who support the development, were in court for the judgments.

It said the centre would create hundreds of jobs and is a critical piece of infrastructure necessary to deal with the exponential growth in demand for data processing and storage.

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"The planning process itself in Ireland is transparent, open and like in any effective and functioning democracy gives citizens the right to comment and provide inputs".

The Irish government is said to be considering making changes to its planning laws and processes in the wake of the case to prevent other would-be datacentre investors from having their plans kicked into the long grass as Apple has.

"This positive news coupled with Microsoft's commitment to power their Data Centres here on 100% Irish generated renewable power reaffirms our calibre as an optimum location to Host Digital assets". This prompted 2,000 local people from Athenry to march in support of the data centre past year.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar held talks with Apple executives last month, who warned the delay could influence future investment decisions.

However, the fear Apple could indeed pull the plug on the development was taken serious by local residents in favour of the data centre, with many referring to Apple's announcement in October 2016 that it would build a large $950m data centre in Denmark.

The planning body asked Apple to address five concerns.

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