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Google opens €150m Irish data centre, waits for EU referendum poll to decide on UK operations

News: Company’s total investment in Ireland has now topped €750m.

By Joao Lima

Google is the latest tech giant to add a new Irish data centre to its global infrastructure with the opening of a facility in West Dublin.

The company has invested €150m in the new hub, bringing the total capital expenditure in Irish soil to €750m, according to the Irish Times.

The data centre, opened by Ireland’s Prime Minister "Taoiseach" Enda Kenny, will help Google run its services including its search engine, Gmail, YouTube and Google Maps.

The two-storey hub has been built adjacent to the company’s first data centre opened in 2012 at Profile Park, near Grangecastle.

Google has not disclosed the size or amount of power used in the data centre. However, it said the facility used air-cooling systems that make use of Ireland’s cool climate to cool down servers.

According to RTE, Google last year acquired a 31-acre piece of land next to the existing site to expand services in the future.

Kenny said: "The opening of this new €150m data centre opens a new chapter in Google’s story in Ireland. With the number of people employed by Google now surpassing 6,000, the company is a fantastic leader within Ireland’s digital community."

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Google employs 6,000 people in Ireland, half of them are directly employed and half are contracted. In the last year alone, the company expanded its team by 20%, employing 1,000 people. The company is now looking for 250 extra staff to work at his EMEA headquarters also based in Dublin.

VP and head of Google Ireland, Ronan Harris, said that as Google grows globally, Ireland will continue to benefit from that growth.

Google’s data centre investment in Ireland is set to be followed by the opening of ten new data centres around the world in the coming months.

The Irish data centre space is also set to receive more than €2bn in investment within the next two years.

Currently building facilities are Facebook and Amazon. Facebook is investing €200m in Clonee, Co Meath, while Amazon has not disclosed how much it is investing.

Microsoft has also been given permission to build out four new data centre halls in Clondalkin, with a capital expenditure of up to €900m.

Meanwhile, Apple is still waiting for a final decision on whether it can build its €850m data centre in Athenry, Co Galway.

Google waits for Brexit referendum to decide on UK operations

Elsewhere, Harris also said the company is going to "wait and see" what happens in the UK in terms of the upcoming referendum on Britain exiting the EU before any more business decisions are made.

He said: "We are going to wait and see what the outcome of the referendum is and then we will assess what the British people have decided and the British government then decide to do.

"At the moment we do not have clarity on that so we have not made any decisions, accordingly."

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