The county council has approved plans by Apple to keep the possibility open for the construction of a data centre in Athenry.
The council has granted a five year extension of its planning permission for a data centre at the site in Derrydonnell where Apple once envisioned plans for an €850 million project.
Apple abandoned plans for the project itself in 2019, five years after it was first announced, and it has been reported are now seeking to sell the site, with planning permission intact.
Planning permission was granted by the county council for the first phase of the proposed data centre in 2016. It was due to expire this September, but has now been extended to November of 2026.
That set off a long legal battle, with permission again granted by An Bord Pleanála, before it became bogged down in long court appeals.
Apple’s involvement in the saga seemingly came to an end in 2018, when the company announced that they were no longer pursuing plans for the data centre just as the case was due to come before the Supreme Court.
However, the court decided to hear the appeal anyway, as it was felt that it could have implications for future planning decisions.
The following year, the court dismissed the appeal brought by two local objectors.
Documents submitted with this EOD application said that the construction of a data centre would “strengthen Ireland’s data storage facilities whilst also providing significant and much need investment in County Galway and the western region as a whole”.
Apple intends to “identify interested parties” to proceed with the project in the approved timeframe, the plans state.