Apple's proposed data center measures 166,000 square meters and was to begin operations in 2017. Apple would recover land previously used for growing and harvesting non-native trees and restore native trees to Derrydonnell Forest. The project would also provide an outdoor education space for local schools, as well as a walking trail for the community.
Residents are concerned that the request for a judicial review will result in Apple taking its project elsewhere. “There is great support for it. It’s very important for Athenry and the greater community that Apple get the go-ahead,” says businessman Pat Joyce.
Sean Kyne, Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs, said there was cross-party support for the project. “We would be a laughing stock if this was lost at this stage – Galway would be and Ireland would be, nationally and internationally,” he said.
This morning, news broke that Apple has managed to get the legal proceedings fast tracked.
Local politician Ciaran Cannon wrote on the Athenry for Apple Facebook group: "Very good news from the High Court just now. The Fitzpatrick/Daly proceedings have been admitted to the Commercial Court list. This means that the hearing must be concluded within 6 months, rather than the 18 months for a normal Judicial Review case. Their case will now be be heard on the 21st of March. The application to admit the third objector, McDonagh, to the same list will be heard next Monday."