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$1 billion Apple data center project in Athenry, Ireland cancelled

Apple has withdrawn its contentious proposal to build a data center in Athenry, Ireland after years of legal challenges.

Athenry, Ireland



Apple's cancellation of the plan comes two weeks after a High Court ruling allowed objectors to restart the appeal process. As a result, Apple would face years of hearings before it could break ground on the facility.

"Several years ago we applied to build a data centre at Athenry," Apple said in a statement to The Independent. "Despite our best efforts, delays in the approval process have forced us to make other plans and we will not be able to move forward with the data centre."

"We've been operating in Ireland since 1980 and we're proud of the many contributions we make to the economy and job creation," added Apple. "In the last two years we've spent over 550 million with local companies and, all told, our investment and innovation supports more than 25,000 jobs up and down the country. We're deeply committed to our employees and customers in Ireland and are expanding our operations in Cork, with a new facility for our talented team there."

Apple unveiled plans to build in Denmark and Athenry on the same day in February 2016. The project in Viborg, Denmark is complete.

The main spearhead behind the resistance to the Athenry data center was Allan Daly. Daly is an American-born immigrant and environmental engineer, and raised multiple objections to the data center. Daly's concerns centered around strain on the Irish electrical grid and no apparent plans to cope with greenhouse gas emissions from the data center.

Apple's project was initially approved by Irish planning councils, but Daly and fellow residents Sinead Fitzpatrick and Brian McDonagh appealed the decision to Ireland's An Bord Pleanala in Sept. 2015. The appeal wasn't granted, forcing Daly to the High Court for review of the case.

Apple's effort wasn't the only one that Daly wants stopped. Daly continues to battle a $1 billion Amazon data center in Dublin.