$1 billion Apple dream fades for Irish villagers

“For a tiny village in the West of Ireland, a meeting 5,000 miles (8,000 kilometers) away at Apple Inc.’s California headquarters confirmed some of its worst fears,” Peter Flanagan reports for Bloomberg. “Last week, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar traveled to see Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook, with the iPhone maker’s long-delayed $1 billion data center in Athenry close to the Atlantic Coast, high on the agenda. Six weeks after Bloomberg News first reported that the project to build eight data halls was in jeopardy, Cook refused Varadkar guarantees that it would go ahead.”

“‘The local mood is one of frustration and disappointment,’ Peter Feeney, a local councilor with Varadkar’s ruling Fine Gael party,” Flanagan reports. “The encounter between Cook and Varadkar was the latest twist in a saga that stretches back to 2015, when Apple simultaneously laid out plans for vast data centers in Ireland and Denmark. While the Danish facility is completed, the chosen site in the middle of an Athenry forest lies idle, stymied by a combination of objectors and court delays.”

“Apple scouted 19 countries before choosing Athenry, with a population of 4,000, as part of its biggest investment in Western Europe,” Flanagan reports. “Instead, Apple has yet to break ground in Athenry, stalled by three objectors, contesting its potential environmental impact and economic benefits.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Looks like Athenry’s prolonged dithering here may well have cost them the billion-dollar project.

No matter, there are plenty of locations smart enough to welcome Apple investments and jobs with open arms.

Irish PM says future of $1 billion Apple data center uncertain – November 4, 2017
After years of delays, Apple finally gets the green light to build its $1 billion data center in Ireland – October 12, 2017
Apple to build second renewables-powered data center in Denmark – July 10, 2017
Apple’s $1 billion data center in Ireland faces High Court appeal as locals plan march in support – November 4, 2016
Apple’s €850m data center in Ireland finally gets green light – August 12, 2016
Apple’s huge data center in Ireland hits a snag – February 3, 2016
Some residents object to Apple’s planned new €850 million data center in Ireland – June 18, 2015
Apple’s strong commitment to the environment sets a powerful example for other companies – May 15, 2015
Apple to invest €1.7 billion to build two new european data centers – February 23, 2015


  1. I hope those “three objectors” feel good about what they have done. I wonder if they will pick up for the loss of tax funds and the creation of new jobs that will now not happen. It always amazes me when 3% feel like their wants or opinions are more important than the other 97%.

    Good luck finding a better business partner to have come in. History will not be kind to these objectors.

  2. I don’t like the tone of this article. It seems to imply that Apple is backing out. Headline should have been “Ireland continues to resist Apple Investment Plans”.

  3. Apple plans to build a $1 billion data center in Athenry in Ireland in spite of repeated warnings and whines that “Anyone who decides to set up a business in a European Union member country today is insane.”

    Sure enough it goes down the toilet, they are unable to deliver.

    Between the lines however, is a Danish facility that is complete and the possibilities of a second data center being built. Success, but wait, Denmark is in the EU, how can this be?

    Easily explained, Denmark is one of the best countries in the world so they have what it takes to be successful, without whining invading and removing freedom from others of course, it’s part of what makes them so great.

  4. Athenry doesn’t realize this is a blessing in disguise.

    Athenry is truly beautiful countryside in Ireland. There are songs written about the beauty of Athenry. It’s really typical charming ireland.

    Putting a big disgusting corporate building in Athenry will ruin it. They are not putting it there because Apple is concerned with the impact of developing the area, they are putting it there because it’s cheap. Apple could careless that it would be destroying the beauty and charm of Ireland. Similiar to what PFeizer has been doing with their big ugly compounds in Ireland.

    Apple could put that center in Dublin and no one would notice, but it would cost apple more.

    US companies are ruining the charm and beauty of Ireland with their greed.

      1. There are only 4000 people living there. It’s a quaint Irish town, don’t destroy it with huge commercial development. Do you really think that hiring from a town of 4000? They were bringing in the people.

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