A court in Dublin, Ireland has determined that Apple has permission to officially start work building its 850 million euro ($960 million) data center in Athenry, County Galway.
The new data center was given the go-ahead over two years ago, but has been hit with numerous delays since then due to legal issues. The giant data center will help power Apple Music, the App Store, iMessages, Maps and Siri.
The Irish data center was first announced as one of two data centers Apple would be building in parallel, with the other one located in Denmark. To give an idea of the delays the Irish data center has received, the sister building in Denmark is already up and running.
The issues which caused the delay have included queries over the amount of power it will require (supposedly more than the city of Dublin) and the potential impact on local bats and badger populations, protected species which live in the nearby forest.
Massive support for Apple in Ireland
Nonetheless, the data center has received widespread public support. When one potential objection against the building was raised, 2,000 local people from Athenry marched in support of Apple. Several hundred more staged a second march earlier this month, ahead of the court’s ruling.
The support for the data center — largely revolving around the number of jobs it will bring to the area — is a microcosm of the level of support Apple enjoys in Ireland as a whole. At present, Ireland is facing a lawsuit from the European Commission over its failure to collect taxes from Apple. Despite being “owed” $15 billion in taxes by the tech giant, Ireland has continued to fight against the E.C.’s enormous Apple fine — hence the somewhat bizarre situation in which it’s sued for not taking money it is reportedly owed.
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