The village, which gained world fame in 1982 when Paddy Reilly released the iconic anthem (originally written by Pete St. John in the 1970’s) is now back at the top of the charts, with Apple announcing the construction of a €580 million data centre, Apple’s largest project in Europe to date.
Athenry won out despite stiff competition from the rest of Europe, bringing over 300 jobs in the construction phase alone. A data centre consists of tens of thousands of hot running servers, which require huge cooling systems and a huge power source, ideally renewable, so multinationals can meet their CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) targets.
Ireland, with its cool temperate climate means that these servers require less power to cool and when power is required, it can be easily sourced from a renewable power provider. Consequently, Ireland not only saves money for multinationals with data centres but also facilitates the achievement of renewable energy targets, which Google has set at 100%.
Other factors which position Ireland in pole position for data centres are the ease of doing business, low corporation tax, a very well educated workforce and high GDP per capita, when compared to our European counterparts. Ireland is also ranked very highly in the influential Data Centre Index, when compared to the majority of our European neighbours.
Apple’s 166,000 square metre data centre will be located on a Coillte owned site just outside Athenry, Co, Galway which will provide the local community with walking trails and educational spaces for local schools.
This is fantastic news for the village which is sung about in stadiums form Croke Park and Lansdowne Road to Celtic Park, Glasgow and Anfield stadium, Liverpool.