Facebook wins go-ahead to build €200m data centre in Meath

23 Oct 2015

Meath's tradition of preserving humanity's data from these stones at Newgrange to the Book of Kells continues with the news that a massive Facebook data centre is to be built in Clonee

Facebook has been given the go-ahead to build a major €200m data centre in Meath after An Bord Pleanála rejected an appeal against the granting of planning permission.

In June, Meath County Council granted Facebook planning permission in Clonee, County Meath.

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.

The data centre is to be built in two phases over the next decade on a 220-acre landscaped site.

The project’s planning permission was appealed. However, An Bord Pleanála has upheld the permission granted by Meath County Council and the project is to go ahead.

Meath wants more data centre-type investments

It is understood that Facebook first engaged the council about the project more than a year ago.

Meath County Council has welcomed the decision of An Bord Pleanála to grant planning permission for the development by Facebook of a major data centre at Clonee.

The Council’s chief executive, Jackie Maguire, said on Facebook: “This is a very good day for Meath. This Council worked closely with the company and the IDA to deliver this important project for Ireland and for the county and it is encouraging to see that effort rewarded and to have our decision to grant permission endorsed.

“We look forward to working closely with Facebook as they develop this major project, which will support hundreds of construction jobs and provide quality permanent jobs when complete.”

Kevin Stewart, the Council’s Director of Planning and Enterprise added: “We first engaged with Facebook on this project more than a year ago, it has been a long road to get to this point, but it is very satisfying to see the efforts of our planning and enterprise team come to fruition.

“I look forward to continuing our close and co-operative working relationship with our colleagues in IDA and with helping them to attract more of this type of investment into Meath.”

Newgrange symbols image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years