Facebook data centre one step closer after application

15 Jun 2015

Facebook’s decision to establish a data centre in Clonee, Co Meath, is advancing a month after its initial announcement, with the social media company today lodging a planning permission application with Meath County Council.

The news of the data centre’s construction was first reported by Siliconrepublic.com back in May. The announcement was accompanied by the news that 100 new jobs would be created to run the renewable energy-driven facility, bringing Facebook’s entire workforce in Ireland past the 1,000 mark.

If planning permission is granted for the site, it will become the fifth-largest data centre in the world, and Facebook’s second Europe-based centre.

It is understood that, as part of the first phase of construction, two buildings will be constructed, covering 50,000 sq ft. Further development will continue in a second phase with the construction of a single, three-storey structure.

Minister for Data Protection Dara Murphy TD welcomed Facebook’s confirmation of their intentions: “We have one of the youngest, well-educated populations in Europe and it’s excellent and very encouraging to see that these companies are continuing to pick Ireland as a source of investment.”

Commenting on the application, Facebook’s Director for Data Centre Strategy and Development, Rachel Peterson, said: “Ireland has been a home for Facebook since 2007 and today’s planning application demonstrates our continued interest to invest in Ireland.

“We hope to build an innovative, environmentally friendly data centre that will help us continue to connect people in Ireland and around the world – while supporting local job creation and Ireland’s successful technology economy. We look forward to continuing our conversations with the Clonee community in coming weeks.”

Data centre image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic