Falling out of two groups who support Apple project for Athenry

Support groups for Apple differ over ‘tactics’ being employed

Noel Doherty of Athenry Bring Back Apple says his interest is ensuring the town became an industrial hub. Photograph: Getty Images

Noel Doherty of Athenry Bring Back Apple says his interest is ensuring the town became an industrial hub. Photograph: Getty Images

 

Two groups in Athenry, Co Galway, which were formed to support the €850 million data centre project outside the town, have fallen out over criticism of “tactics” being employed by each.

Paul Keane of the Apple for Athenry Facebook page says he is “very concerned for the welfare of objectors” to the project due to the “behaviour” of members of a separate support group .

Mr Keane also says he has been “threatened” but has not as yet notified the Garda of same.

However, Noel Doherty of Athenry Bring Back Apple (ABBA) disputes the claims, and says that it is “very sad” that the situation has reached this stage.

Mr Doherty was a founder of Apple for Athenry and an organiser of the march in favour of the project in November 2016. He helped to form ABBA several months ago.

Mr Doherty says he was one of three people who expressed their disapproval to US environmental engineer Allan Daly when they met him earlier this week during a TG4 Nuacht interview at the Apple site at Derrydonnell.

“We told Allan Daly that he had already had a fair hearing at Bord Pleanála, and with the judicial review of same going against him,” Mr Doherty says. “Paul Keane arrived too late to witness any of this, and he then decided to criticise us on social media.”

Mr Doherty, a long-time resident of Athenry, said his interest was ensuring the town became an industrial hub, and the Apple project provided this opportunity. “If it ever goes ahead Apple is only the beginning, and we would hope other companies would follow suit.”