Objectors to Apple data centre in Athenry apply to the Supreme Court

A number of local residents have raised concerns about potential environmental impacts

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Objectors to Apple's plans for a data centre in Athenry, Co Galway have decided to continue their fight against the proposed €850m facility.

They have applied to the Supreme Court to hear their appeal following a High Court judgement last month that seemed to pave the way for works to begin.

Apple's plans to build a state-of-the-art data centre on a 500 acre Coillte-owned site just outside Athenry were first announced in 2015.

But not a single sod has since been turned because of objections from a number of local residents.

They raised concerns about the potential environmental impact of the project and accused An Bord Pleanála of not carrying out a proper assessment.

The Commercial Court ruled against them in October and last month, a High Court judge refused to hear their appeal against that decision because he felt the issues raised did not meet the required standard.

And that seemed to be that, but the Courts Service has confirmed the objectors now want to have their appeal heard before the Supreme Court.

There is no automatic right to have such an appeal heard before the highest court in the land and the threshold is even higher than the High Court.

But this latest development will undoubtedly delay the process even further.

A decision on whether to allow it is expected in the coming weeks.