In July, IDA Chief Executive Martin Shanahan was calling for a shake-up of the planning system amid fears the considerable delays could lead to Athenry losing the project.
On October 8th, we reported that a group of Irishman rallied to support the proposed Apple data center in Athenry and on October 12th the High Court of Ireland gave Apple the green light the center.
It took at least two and half years to get the approval. Now it appears that Ireland’s IDA’s Shanahan’s fears have come true. However, Apple may no longer have interest in the project because of the delays. Asking for a company like Apple to wait so long is simply unacceptable.
According to Reuters report, “a planned $1 billion Apple data center is in doubt after Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said the U.S. company’s Chief Executive Tim Cook would no longer commit to it,” adding that Dublin would do whatever necessary to get it built.
In a meeting on Thursday, Cook did not commit to going ahead with it, Varadkar told state broadcaster RTE. He added that “we didn’t get a start date, or a definite commitment or anything like that.”
Varadkar, who is on a tour of the United States to meet investors, added that he had told Cook that the government would do ‘anything within our power’ to facilitate the resumption of the project.
As we noted at the beginning of this report, IDA’s Chief Executive Martin Shanahan called for a shake-up of the planning system amid fears the considerable delays could lead to Athenry losing the Apple project. Clearly the warning came too late. It may have taken the loss of Apple’s business to force Ireland to change.