Apple wants legal challenge to its Galway, Ireland data center fast-tracked

Apple has asked the Irish High Court to fast-track a legal challenge by a handful of objectors to its stalled €850 million data center investment in Athenry, Galway, seeking to avert a potential delay of up to 18 months under a judicial review, reports the Irish Times.

The Cupertino, California-based company has moved to have the dispute entered on to the commercial list of the High Court, a special division set up to expedite legal disputes with more than €1 million at stake. This would result in a decision over the Athenry project within about six months, according to the Irish Times.

THIS COMPUTER GENERATED IMAGE OF APPLE’S PROPOSED DATA CENTER IS COURTESY OF “BUSINESS INSIDER.”

THIS COMPUTER GENERATED IMAGE OF APPLE’S PROPOSED DATA CENTER IS COURTESY OF “BUSINESS INSIDER.”

A motion to have a legal challenge by the three objectors to the plan entered on to the fast-track commercial list will be heard by the High Court on Nov. 7, the day before a hearing was due to be held in relation to the judicial review.

Apple planned to start building the data center on a 500-acre site before the end of 2015. However, it was delayed when unhappy Irish citizens lodged formal complaints with the Irish government.

Complainants argued that the data centre would increase noise and light pollution, flooding, and traffic. Some also said it would act as an eyesore and others said it would harm the local badger and bat populations.

In February 2015 Apple announced its plans to build its first two data centers in Europe to host iCloud, iTunes and other online services. Located in Ireland and Denmark, these facilities will be powered by 100% renewable energy.