Technology giant Apple has scrapped plans to build a data centre in Galway.
The US firm announced in February 2015 that they would invest £747m (€850m) in the new data centre near Athenry.
The project was expected to create 300 temporary jobs and up to 150 permanent staff required to run the facility upon completion.
The US firm cited delays in the planning process and a court battle with conservationists as reasons for the failed proposals.
In a statement, Apple said: “Several years ago we applied to build a data centre at Athenry. Despite our best efforts, delays in the approval process have forced us to make other plans and we will not be able to move forward with the data centre.
“We’ve been operating in Ireland since 1980 and we’re proud of the many contributions we make to the economy and job creation.
“In the last two years we’ve spent over €550 million with local companies and, all told, our investment and innovation supports more than 25,000 jobs up and down the country.
“We’re deeply committed to our employees and customers in Ireland and are expanding our operations in Cork, with a new facility for our talented team there.”
‘A commercial decision’
The Republic of Ireland’s Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys said the project “would have been a source of significant investment and job creation for Galway and the west of Ireland.”
She said the Irish government did everything it could to support the investment.
“This included high-level engagement with the company, both at home and abroad,” Ms Humphreys added.
“Ultimately, in spite of these efforts, Apple has taken a commercial decision not to proceed, making it clear that the delays that beset this project caused them to reconsider their plans.”
She said the delays emphasised the need to make the Republic of Ireland’s planning and legal processes more efficient, and that the government will “ensure we are better placed to take advantage of future such investment opportunities, whether from data centre providers or other sectors”.
‘Disappointing but not surprising’
Ian Talbot, Chief Executive of Chambers Ireland said: “This morning’s announcement by Apple to halt their plans for a data centre in Athenry is disappointing but not surprising.”
He added that the decision “will be met with dismay by the business community generally, as well as in the local region which would have received a very significant economic boost from the proposed €850 million investment.”