Plan for Ennis data centre gets green light

Centre has been six years moving through various stages, including strategic site assessment, zoning and planning

An Bord Pleanála has given the green light to contentious plans for a new 200MW €1.2 billion data centre campus on the outskirts of Ennis, Co Clare.

The Ennis data centre campus is to comprise six data halls covering 145 acres or 1.3 million sq ft of land adjacent to the Tulla Road on the eastern outskirts of Ennis near junction 13 on the M18 motorway.

Welcoming the decision, applicants Art Data Centres Ltd confirmed that the project would create between 400 and 450 permanent jobs when the data centre campus was fully operational, with up to 1,200 jobs in construction.

Construction work on the scheme is to take six years, and a company spokesman said on Tuesday: “Construction will commence as soon as possible in 2024.”


The planned Ennis data centre has been six years moving through various stages, including strategic site assessment, zoning and planning.

Chief executive of Art Data Centres, Tom McNamara, welcomed the announcement. “This is great news for this data centre campus and for Clare as the project will be a key pillar of the Ennis 2040 Economic Plan for the area.

“The infrastructure that is available in the Ennis site will assist government in national ambitions to deliver ongoing opportunities for the country in the tech industry. The power connection application can now be finally processed due to the positive planning decision.”

The applicants initially pencilled for June 2023 as a construction start date, but opposition and planning delays at An Bord Pleanála resulted in the appeals board taking more than 18 months to make a determination.

In giving the go-ahead to Art Data Centres Ltd, the appeals board has stated that it had regard to the Government statement on the role of data centres in Ireland’s enterprise strategy from July 2022.

The appeals board grant upholds a granting of permission by Clare County Council that was issued for the project in August 2022, and the scheme has been before An Bord Pleanála since September 2022.

The proposed development came before the appeals board after eight appeals were lodged by An Taisce, Friends of the Irish Environment, Futureproof Clare, the Clare Green Party and four individuals Dr Colin Doyle, Martin Knox, Colin Johnston and Christine Sharp.

In its appeal An Taisce stated that it recommended a refusal to the scheme as the project “would require a very significant amount of power, thereby generating a projected 657,000 tonnes of CO2 per annum”.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times