Canney calls for statutory appeal timeline after Apple case

‘Everyone has a right to appeal, but we need to look at the timelines involved’

Independent Alliance TD for East Galway, Sean Canney, is calling for the introduction of a statutory timeline for the planning process. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Independent Alliance TD for East Galway, Sean Canney, is calling for the introduction of a statutory timeline for the planning process. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

 

Independent Alliance TD for East Galway, Sean Canney, is calling for the introduction of a statutory timeline for the planning process following delays in the Apple Athenry appeal.

“Everyone has a right to appeal, but we need to look at the appeal process and the timelines involved,” he told Newstalk Breakfast.

Mr Canney was speaking after a judgment in the Commercial Court on Thursday which rejected two judicial review challenges to the planned data hall at Derrydonnell, Athenry – the first of eight such halls Apple may build over a 15-year period on a 500- acre site.

Galway County Council first granted permission for the data centre in September 2015.

Projects of the size and importance of the Apple data centre in Athenry should be included under strategic infrastructure, Mr Canney said.

Mr Canney was also concerned about the reputational damage to Ireland because of the delay.

He feared other companies might be put off investing in Ireland.

The Apple data centre in Athenry would create “huge employment” in the construction phase, Mr Canney said, adding:

“It will be great see people working in their own community.

“It’s time to reflect on how we deal with projects like this.”

Mr Canney said he hopes the Apple centre in Athenry “will open the gates” and encourage other international companies to look at locating in the west of Ireland.

He rejected a suggestion that a proposal by his colleague, Minister for Transport Shane Ross, on judicial appointments had slowed down the legal progress of the Athenry appeal.

“This case was before Shane Ross. You can’t hang this on him. There is a lack of resources, a lack of judges.

“Judges appointments are one thing. There should be a statutory time frame for cases like this. We need to look at the whole aspect, not play the blame game.

“We need a proper timeline for planning decisions.”