Objectors to Apple's Athenry project refused permission to appeal

The €850m investment has been held up by legal objections

Objectors to Apple's Athenry project refused permission to appeal

Picture by: Alan Diaz/AP/Press Association Images

Updated 10:50

Objectors to Apple’s proposed multi-million euro data centre in Athenry have been refused permission to take their case to the Court of Appeal.

The €850m investment has been held up for years while a similar project in Denmark – originally announced alongside the Galway plans – is now close to completion.

The Danish centre will be up and running by the end of the year.

Apple was given the go-ahead to proceed with the development by Galway County Council in February 2015.

That decision was re-affirmed by An Bord Pleanála in August 2016 – however the project has long been delayed by a judicial review undertaken by three objectors to the project.

Sinead Fitzpatrick and Allan Daly had claimed An Bord Pleanála failed to carry out the necessary environmental assessment before green-lighting the plan.

They accused the planning board of granting permission for one data hall without fully considering the environmental impact of a development that could see another seven built in the future.

On October 12th however, Mr Justice Paul McDermott dismissed their applications.

The decision was greeted with scenes of celebration in Athenry - however within five days, the objectors indicated their decision to seek permission to appeal the judgement. 

They claimed their case is worthy of an appeal because it raises five issues of “exceptional public importance” that should be considered in “the public interest”.

The planning board had disagreed and accused them of pursing an appeal just because they are not happy with the outcome of the judicial review.

This morning Judge McDermott refused the objectors permission to take their case to the Court of Appeal warning that he did not believe they raised any issues of “exceptional public importance” to warrant an appeal.

Following the decision, Noel Doherty from the campaign group ‘Athenry for Apple’ said he hopes work will now begin straight away:

"This has taken a long time," he said. "This has being going on now since 2015 and it is now 2017."

"Hopefully this is the end of it and Apple will come quite quickly and turn the sod on the site.

"Hopefully building will start soon."

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