Clare’s Junior Minister insists that data centres are central to the Government’s plans to attract increased foreign direct investment to this country.
Fine Gael Minister Pat Breen has rejected claims that Apple has abandoned it’s planned centre in Athenry, saying no stone is being left unturned in the effort to ensure the project will go ahead.
It comes as Clare County Council has stepped up it’s efforts to attract large-scale data centre developments to the county to drive local employment.
Apple’s planned 850 million euro data centre in Galway is free to go ahead after the Court of Appeal rejected a submission by two local objectors.
And while fresh concerns have emerged that Apple has abandoned it’s plans, Clare’s Junior Minister insists that the company’s potential investment in Athenry remains under active consideration.
Fine Gael Minister Pat Breen, who’s responsible for Data Protection, has described data centres as the ‘Oil’ of the future, saying the provision of them in areas outside of the capital, as well as in the Dublin area, are central to Governments Plans.
Speaking in the Dáil, Minister Breen insisted that attracting data centres to this country is a key focus for the Government and the IDA.
Clare County Council is stepping up its own efforts to attract large-scale data centre developments to the county.
The local authority is seeking expressions of interest from landowners, companies and developers in identifying sites of 50 acres or more for the centres by 2023.
It forms part of the Clare County Development Plan which runs for the next six years and they’re placin ga particular focus on potential sites in areas including Ennis, Scarriff, Clarecastle and Shannon.
Acting Director of Economic Development Brian McCarthy says there’s huge potential in this county for more than one centre.
Clare’s Independent TD has welcomed the move by the local aurthority as innovative and positive.
Dr Michael Harty says one of the failures of the Government is to find a replacement industry for Roche in Clarecastle, and that while the recent jobs announcement at Regeneron in Limerick is welcome, it doesn’t answer Clare’s employment needs.
Deputy Harty says it’s important to learn lessons from the Apple debacle and to push forward with initiatives that will provide a boost for areas like Clare.