Apple's Irish data centre dispute gets fast-tracked

Apple logo with data inside

Apple's bid to fast-track a court decision regarding a new data centre in Ireland has been approved by the High Court, meaning the dispute will be settled within six months.

Normally, a dispute like this could take up to 18 months to resolve, but the company has succeeded in getting the case added to the 'commercial list' - a special court division for cases where more than €1,000,000 is at stake.

The proposed development - in Athenry, County Galway - is being blocked by a couple of local residents, who have concerns about the impact on the surrounding wildlife and environment. They are opposed not just by Apple, but by other local residents who feel that the new data centre will reinvigorate the local economy and provide local jobs.

Residents organised a march in support of the project, bringing thousands of people together the day before the verdict.

The case to add a third protester to the same commercial list is due to be heard next Monday.

04/11/2016: Galway locals plan march to support Apple's Ireland data centre

Residents of a town in Galway are planning a march this weekend in support of a proposed Apple data centre, which is currently being blocked by three disgruntled locals.

The 'Apple for Athenry' march is scheduled to take place on Sunday, 6 November, one day before a High Court ruling related to the development.

"We want to show Apple, and the whole world, that the vast majority of Athenry people support wholeheartedly Apple's desire to open a data centre near our town," the page states. "This is a marvellous opportunity for Athenry, and the West Of Ireland. Please do not let this opportunity slip through our fingers."

Apple wants to invest €850 million (£756 million) in establishing the site, which is set to cover a 500-acre site just outside Athenry. The proposal is being blocked by three locals, however, who have appealed to local government and planning bodies after final planning approval was granted in August, as well as the High Court.

The data centre was meant to be built at the same time as a similar site in Denmark. However, while construction has already started on that project, the Athenry data centre has been delayed by almost 18 months.

Apple has asked the court to fast-track the case, requesting that it be dealt with by a dedicated division reserved for high-value disputes. The decision as to whether or not to grant the company's request will be handed down on 7 November.

Adam Shepherd

Adam Shepherd has been a technology journalist since 2015, covering everything from cloud storage and security, to smartphones and servers. Over the course of his career, he’s seen the spread of 5G, the growing ubiquity of wireless devices, and the start of the connected revolution. He’s also been to more trade shows and technology conferences than he cares to count.

Adam is an avid follower of the latest hardware innovations, and he is never happier than when tinkering with complex network configurations, or exploring a new Linux distro. He was also previously a co-host on the ITPro Podcast, where he was often found ranting about his love of strange gadgets, his disdain for Windows Mobile, and everything in between.

You can find Adam tweeting about enterprise technology (or more often bad jokes) @AdamShepherUK.