Apple revives controversial Athenry, Ireland datacenter plan

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 25
After protests previously caused it to abandon creating a datacenter in Athenry, Ireland, Apple has revived its plans and now intends to complete it by 2026.

Proposed Apple datacenter
Proposed Apple datacenter


Plans for a $1 billion Apple datacenter in Ireland's Atherny, County Galway, are back following previous protests and legal challenges. Apple had put the land up for sale, but has now filed for an extension on its original planning permission.

According to Data Center Dynamics, Apple's permission to build the datacenter expires in September 2021. The company is asking for an extension to November 2026 and says that it is actively planning to build by that date.

"Due to delays associated with the judicial processes initiated after the relevant planning consent issued and, more recently, the complications over the last year... arising from the Covid-19 pandemic, the subject development has not been brought to fruition," says Apple's application.

"It is the intention that the project will be undertaken as soon as practicable once suitable developers are identified," continues Apple. "It is anticipated the development will be completed within the extension period sought."

Apple originally bought land in Athenry, Galway, in 2014, with the intention of opening the billion datacenter by 2017. However, delays followed because of protests -- and a shortage of judges to hear the legal cases.

Apple prevailed in the case, but after a series of appeals abandoned the project in 2018. Reportedly, Apple put the land up for sale, though no buyer was found.

The decision over whether to grant the extension will be announced in August. It is likely to face more criticism, however, with one local politician arguing that the land should be bought by the government.

Separately, Ireland's Finance Minister has recently argued for a compromise on global corporate taxation. This follows the country's long-running dispute with the EU over the amount of tax it has charged Apple.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    red oakred oak Posts: 903member

    Sounds like Apple is willing to ride out the next 2-3 years of appeals before they start to build.   Smart to lock in future datacenter capacity, even if it is years away from going online 
    killroy
  • Reply 2 of 13
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,517member
    Like homelessness. Everyone hates it, but no one wants housing for them in THEIR backyard. Everyone wants fast and secure local data, but . . . . 
    muthuk_vanalingamkillroy
  • Reply 3 of 13
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,633member
    Like homelessness. Everyone hates it, but no one wants housing for them in THEIR backyard. Everyone wants fast and secure local data, but . . . . 
    NIMBY - Not In My Back Yard

    The chants of the hypocrites.
  • Reply 4 of 13
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,713member
    Why would anybody -- especially Apple -- want to build a major, international facility in Ireland?

    -- It's status as a tax haven is under attack
    -- It's political future uncertain as it's the current pawn in the Brexit battles
    -- The possibility that the "The Troubles" will return - enough that the U.S. warned Britain against it.
    -- A Russian sub could make that data center worthless with a single snip of a cord.

    So, what's the attraction?
    All I see are negatives.
  • Reply 5 of 13
    Why would anybody -- especially Apple -- want to build a major, international facility in Ireland?

    -- It's status as a tax haven is under attack
    -- It's political future uncertain as it's the current pawn in the Brexit battles
    -- The possibility that the "The Troubles" will return - enough that the U.S. warned Britain against it.
    -- A Russian sub could make that data center worthless with a single snip of a cord.

    So, what's the attraction?
    All I see are negatives.
    Apple already has done the legwork and it will also be “useful” in helping Apple follow different European rules than what they operate by in the USA. We’ve already seen it with China and Russia. Or the flip side, allowing European continental countries that aren’t part of a greater European economy to operate by a aerate set of rules. 

    So there are plenty of strategic advantages to this, whether that advantage is helping people who don’t want to be dictated to - or continuing to operate where the only option is to submit to a heavy handed government. 
  • Reply 6 of 13
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,713member
    Why would anybody -- especially Apple -- want to build a major, international facility in Ireland?

    -- It's status as a tax haven is under attack
    -- It's political future uncertain as it's the current pawn in the Brexit battles
    -- The possibility that the "The Troubles" will return - enough that the U.S. warned Britain against it.
    -- A Russian sub could make that data center worthless with a single snip of a cord.

    So, what's the attraction?
    All I see are negatives.
    Apple already has done the legwork and it will also be “useful” in helping Apple follow different European rules than what they operate by in the USA. We’ve already seen it with China and Russia. Or the flip side, allowing European continental countries that aren’t part of a greater European economy to operate by a aerate set of rules. 

    So there are plenty of strategic advantages to this, whether that advantage is helping people who don’t want to be dictated to - or continuing to operate where the only option is to submit to a heavy handed government. 

    Ireland IS part of the European economy as it's part of the EU.   Although there's question marks there as there is no hard border with Northern Ireland (UK) -- and the UK doesn't want to live up to their agreements on trade.

    I would have put that data center in the mainland of the EU -- not on an island of questionable standing,

    But, either way, it'll likely be fine.   Apple seems to like Ireland.  I just don't see the logic of it over the mainland.
    edited June 26
  • Reply 7 of 13
    Despite many posters here failing to see the attraction of Ireland for data centres, the fact is that Apple is actually one of the few large technology giants WITHOUT a data centre in Ireland. Amazon, Google, IBM, Facebook all have data centres in Ireland. 

    Why? Biggest reason is the weather. Not too hot, not too cold. Perfect for data centres. Simple as that. 
    FileMakerFeller
  • Reply 8 of 13
    Why would anybody -- especially Apple -- want to build a major, international facility in Ireland?

    -- It's status as a tax haven is under attack
    -- It's political future uncertain as it's the current pawn in the Brexit battles
    -- The possibility that the "The Troubles" will return - enough that the U.S. warned Britain against it.
    -- A Russian sub could make that data center worthless with a single snip of a cord.

    So, what's the attraction?
    All I see are negatives.
    Apple already has done the legwork and it will also be “useful” in helping Apple follow different European rules than what they operate by in the USA. We’ve already seen it with China and Russia. Or the flip side, allowing European continental countries that aren’t part of a greater European economy to operate by a aerate set of rules. 

    So there are plenty of strategic advantages to this, whether that advantage is helping people who don’t want to be dictated to - or continuing to operate where the only option is to submit to a heavy handed government. 

    Ireland IS part of the European economy as it's part of the EU.   Although there's question marks there as there is no hard border with Northern Ireland (UK) -- and the UK doesn't want to live up to their agreements on trade.

    I would have put that data center in the mainland of the EU -- not on an island of questionable standing,

    But, either way, it'll likely be fine.   Apple seems to like Ireland.  I just don't see the logic of it over the mainland.
    That’s why I represented both sides of the coin, thanks
  • Reply 9 of 13
    firelockfirelock Posts: 224member
    Like homelessness. Everyone hates it, but no one wants housing for them in THEIR backyard. Everyone wants fast and secure local data, but . . . . 
    Those two things are not even remotely similar on nearly any level. We’ve got several data centers in the area I live in and I’ve never heard anyone express the slightest discomfort with that. Heck I’d venture to guess that most people living here don’t even know that they are there. Whereas I’m pretty sure nearly everyone I know wouldn’t want a homeless shelter nearby.
  • Reply 10 of 13
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,713member
    firelock said:
    Like homelessness. Everyone hates it, but no one wants housing for them in THEIR backyard. Everyone wants fast and secure local data, but . . . . 
    Those two things are not even remotely similar on nearly any level. We’ve got several data centers in the area I live in and I’ve never heard anyone express the slightest discomfort with that. Heck I’d venture to guess that most people living here don’t even know that they are there. Whereas I’m pretty sure nearly everyone I know wouldn’t want a homeless shelter nearby.
    The data center I worked at for 20 years made a point of nobody knowing what it was -- no signs or other indications.   Except for the billowing clouds of steam coming out of the chillers, it looked like a warehouse.

    That was just one (security through obscurity) of a number of its elaborate security mechanisms because it ran the data processing for a number of Fortune 100 & 500 corporations and, at least at the time, was one of the largest private datacenters in the country -- and nobody even knew it was there.

    After I retired from there I became a psych nurse working in the community and worked with a number of homeless people.   Most homeless have some form of mental illness and they are the ones most at risk of being robbed and beaten rather than the people objecting to them.   Generally speaking they were pretty gentle people.  Yes, they had street smarts.  They had to.   But mostly they just wanted a place to sleep and a bite to eat rather than trouble.
    ... Just look at the news:  there's far more stories of a homeless man being beaten & robbed than of them doing the beating and robbing.

    edited June 27 FileMakerFeller
  • Reply 11 of 13
    Why would anybody -- especially Apple -- want to build a major, international facility in Ireland?

    -- It's status as a tax haven is under attack
    -- It's political future uncertain as it's the current pawn in the Brexit battles
    -- The possibility that the "The Troubles" will return - enough that the U.S. warned Britain against it.
    -- A Russian sub could make that data center worthless with a single snip of a cord.

    So, what's the attraction?
    All I see are negatives.
    1) the tax haven stuff is buttressed by having operations in the ROI.
    2 & 3) the political future of the ROI is not 'uncertain' because of Brexit, unless you're referring to the increasing likelihood of a successful pro-reunification vote in the North. The UK is a declining second-rate power, whereas the EU (of which the ROI is and will remain part) is the 800-lb gorilla.
    4) to date the big problem with international comms has been the long-term, pervasive UK hoovering up of all ROI telecom data. The EU will surely be getting around to stopping this as a priority.

    FileMakerFeller
  • Reply 12 of 13
    lkrupp said:
    Like homelessness. Everyone hates it, but no one wants housing for them in THEIR backyard. Everyone wants fast and secure local data, but . . . . 
    NIMBY - Not In My Back Yard

    The chants of the hypocrites.
    You should offer up your property for a data center.  
  • Reply 13 of 13
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,713member
    lkrupp said:
    Like homelessness. Everyone hates it, but no one wants housing for them in THEIR backyard. Everyone wants fast and secure local data, but . . . . 
    NIMBY - Not In My Back Yard

    The chants of the hypocrites.
    You should offer up your property for a data center.  

    Data Centers provide clean, high paying jobs.   One of them financed half of my working career and (along with a bit of investing) financed my retirement from it.
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