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Irish government agrees to fast-track complaints over Apple datacenter

The Irish High Court has reportedly agreed to put Apple on its commercial list, fast-tracking the resolution of legal objections over its planned datacenter near Athenry.

As a result Apple should be able to get a decision — one way or another — within six months, Business Insider said on Monday. The commercial list is reserved for disputes with 1 million euros or more involved.

Had Apple failed to get on the list, it could have been forced to wait up to 18 months for the conclusion of a standard judicial review, adding even further delays to the beginning of construction. Two of the three objectors will now have their case heard on March 21 — an application to add the third will be heard on Nov. 14.

The Athenry datacenter was once expected to be Apple's first in Europe, but reviews have forced its delay, whereas a facility in Denmark is already under construction. Groups and individuals have expressed concerns about the Irish complex, including its power use and potential environmental impact.

It does however have the support of the Galway County Council, the review board An Bord Pleanála, and many local residents. This weekend over 2,000 people marched in Athenry to support the datacenter, arguing for its economic benefits.