With construction starting on Facebook’s €200 million data centre in Clonee in County Meath this month, Hannah Moran takes a look at why Ireland is a popular European base for global businesses.
Data centres are not something of common knowledge, however that is beginning to change as in Ireland there are new centres being created every year. Facebook is one of many tech giants with a European base in Ireland.
 
Ireland’s low taxation rates is a major draw in for companies, as other European nations charge higher rates which would cost companies millions extra in taxes per annum.
 
Head of Google in Ireland Ronan Harris described Dublin as the “data capital of Europe” and with tech companies from all around the world deciding to invest here it’s not hard to see why.
 
According to siliconrepublic.com “Ireland is home to around 30 data centres”, this amount alone and the fact that major international players have chosen to invest here would make Ireland also appear like a solid choice to competitors.
 
After Google invested in Ireland, other tech companies quickly followed suit, and continued growth of these companies here shows Ireland to be a sustainable investment.
 
Apple announced a €830 million investment into a data centre in Athenry in Galway in 2015, which when finished will boost the economy on the west coast. The fact that companies can build anywhere on the island and be within a short distance of the coast and airports furthers the appeal of international bases.
 
Recent approvals to changes in data protection laws in the EU means the Irish Data Protection Commissioner will have to regulate for the companies with data centres located in Ireland on Europe-wide data issues.
 
According to the Irish Times, the new law will also require companies to report privacy breaches to national authorities within 72 hours or risk facing a heavy fine from the state.
 
This change to Data Protection laws will give more power to Irish authorities and further increase the role of the country in the running of international companies.
 
Data centres are an important part of tech businesses as they house the information on which the company functions. Ireland has become a major player in the world of data control and distribution as a result.
 
With global businesses such as Google, Ebay, Airbnb, Twitter, LinkedIn, Yahoo and Microsoft to name a few, based in Ireland, the future in tech related fields for Ireland is looking very bright.