Social Media giant Facebook has plans to open a new €200m data centre in Clonee, Co Meath.
The construction of the centre would create hundreds of temporary jobs and also dozens of permanent positions for workers in the technology industry.
The planning application will go before the council today. The centre will be split across two buildings covering a total of 50,000 square metres. It is hoped it can be run on renewable energy, most likely wind power.
The datacentre would increase Facebook’s staff in Ireland to more than 1,000 workers. It will be their fifth datacentres around the world, and their second in Europe.
The move is the latest in a long line of technology centres based in Ireland. Other global companies such as Google, LinkedIn and Apple have selected Ireland to be the base for their European operations.
The rise of the internet over the past 20 years has created an issue with regards to data protection and security. EU member states are due to update the legislation regarding the use of data, with the current laws dating back to 1995.
Any changes will have a significant effect in Ireland, with so many of the world’s leading online brands having bases throughout the country.
Minister of State Dara Murphy has said that he expects the EU to pass a ‘one-stop shop’ system of data protection, in which each individual government will be able to manage their own laws and enforcement on companies operating within their own country.
“As we always do in Ireland we will be not found wanting at all when it comes to the regulation and the enforcement of these rules that we’re agreeing today. We have a strong tradition of independent regulatory bodies in the state and our data protection in particular, while may have been under-resourced in the past, now has significant new resources for the future.
“We have one of the youngest, well-educated populations in Europe and it’s excellent and very encouraging to see that these companies are continuing to pick Ireland as a source of investment.”
If the Facebook datacentre is passed by the Meath County Council as expected then it will further strengthen Ireland’s position and reputation as one of the leading countries for technology investment in the world.