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$1 Billion Apple Dream Fades for Irish Villagers

  • Company’s data center plan held up for more than two years
  • Dispute raises concerns about Ireland as a business location
An illustration shows the data center site planned by Apple Inc. in the Derrydonnell forest, near Athenry, Ireland.
An illustration shows the data center site planned by Apple Inc. in the Derrydonnell forest, near Athenry, Ireland.Source: Apple Inc.
Corrected

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.

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.