NEGOTIATIONS are ongoing to find an end user for the proposed Ennis data centre, and this week County Council chief executive Pat Dowling said he is confident the project will go ahead.
The proposed Data Centre at Toureen, just off the Ennis-Tulla road, is said to have the potential to deliver 200 direct permanent jobs, another 150 ancillary jobs, 50 maintenance jobs, and 1,100 jobs in the construction phase.
At last Friday’s council budget meeting, Ennis Councillor Pat Daly asked for an update on the proposed development, and Mr Dowling said work is progressing, and that he would attend meetings in the UK this week regarding it.
He also said that if it does become a reality, it could make Clare a “quite unique” location.
Mr Dowling told The Clare Champion on Wednesday that negotiations have been taking place and the likely future of the development should become clear within months.
“We’re still working on it, still working to find the end user. The development plan has been varied to allow it to happen. Negotiations are sensitive enough obviously because it’s a commercial venture, but I’m confident that we’ll be able to deliver it. We’ll know more by the first half of next year, I would say within the first half of next year we will have it firmed up if it is to go ahead.”
He said he expects it will come to pass. “We’re well advanced with the discussions, the IDA are fully on board with us and I’d be confident enough.”
Mr Dowling said if the data centre does come to pass, it would lead to further opportunities in this county. He said a number of such facilities are now being built in Ireland, but they are all being located in the greater Dublin area.
If an end user is found and an application for planning permission for a data centre is made, it is very likely to be objected to by local residents, many of whom signed a letter outlining their concerns which they sent to Clare County
Council before the variation to the development plan was approved.