Navigating the Boom in Ireland's Data Centre Construction

Date: 21 May 2024

A data centre in Ireland.

In the digital era, the significance of data centres is increasingly prominent in shaping Ireland's economic trajectory. These facilities not only contribute directly through job creation and infrastructure development but also hold strategic importance in global data handling and storage. This pivotal role is thoroughly analysed in the recent CIS Ireland report, which details the sector's impact and ongoing expansion.


Insights from CIS Ireland's Report

The CIS Ireland report highlights a substantial increase in data centre activity, with projects valued at €1.797 billion and covering an impressive area of 1,539,990 square meters. This growth not only underscores the sector's vitality but also its potential to sustain Ireland's economy in the digital age. The report also addresses the challenge of balancing this rapid development with sustainable practices, a necessity brought into sharp focus by the global pandemic and the shift towards remote working and digital services.


The Current Landscape

Data centre development in Ireland has been predominantly concentrated in the Greater Dublin Region, with significant facilities in Clondalkin, Blanchardstown, Lucan, and Swords. However, the landscape is evolving as new projects begin to emerge in other counties such as Galway, Mayo, Clare, Cork, and Meath. This expansion indicates a shift towards a more geographically dispersed distribution of data centres across Ireland, suggesting a national strategy to distribute the economic benefits more broadly while also managing regional energy capacities.


Energy and Environmental Considerations

According to the CIS report, data centres in the Dublin area alone accounted for 11% of Ireland’s overall electricity usage in 2022, a figure projected to rise to 30% by 2030. This substantial energy demand introduces significant risks to the national grid and compels a national conversation about the integration of renewable energy sources and sustainability in future developments. The environmental impact of such extensive energy consumption necessitates innovative solutions to align with global sustainability targets and local community standards.


SSA Recruitment's Role

SSA Recruitment, as a construction recruitment agency in Ireland, finds itself at the centre of a burgeoning sector ripe with opportunities. Our agency plays a crucial role in connecting skilled professionals who are well-versed in modern construction technologies and sustainable practices with these significant projects. As data centres evolve, the need for advanced skills in energy management and sustainable construction techniques becomes more pronounced, positioning SSA Recruitment as a key player in shaping the future landscape of Ireland's data centres.


Drivers of Growth and Recent Deals

The remarkable growth in Ireland's data centre sector is driven by several factors including the country's political stability, favourable corporate tax rates, and robust connectivity. This conducive environment has attracted significant investments, such as the recent €10 million deal between Servecentric and Digital Realty. This partnership underscores the ongoing expansion and the scale of operations anticipated in the near future, reinforcing Ireland's position as a critical hub for data centres in Europe.


Opportunities Ahead

The evolution of planning regulations and potential shifts towards renewable energy sources are focal points for the sector's future. With major companies like Amazon and Microsoft investing in renewable energy, a precedent is being set that could encourage broader adoption across the sector. This transition towards sustainability could position Ireland as a global leader in green data centre operations, further enhancing its attractiveness to international investors.


Challenges in Sustainable Development

Navigating the challenges of sustainable development within this fast-growing sector requires a concerted effort from all stakeholders. As detailed in Data Centre Magazine, the pandemic has highlighted the need for a versatile data infrastructure capable of supporting dispersed, cloud-based storage solutions. This shift has put a significant strain on existing infrastructures. With projections from EirGrid indicating that data centres could account for 29 percent of Ireland's total energy demand by 2027, there is an urgent need to expand and overhaul the IT infrastructure while simultaneously decarbonising it. The development and expansion of the energy grid to support these needs must be done sustainably, to avoid exacerbating the climate crisis.



The trajectory for Ireland's data centres looks promising but is not without its challenges, particularly in sustainable development and energy management. As the country cements its position as a critical player in the global data economy, the roles of construction and engineering professionals are becoming more vital. SSA Recruitment is well-prepared to meet these demands, offering the necessary talent to drive innovation and sustainability in the construction of data centres across Ireland. This narrative, leveraging insights from the CIS Ireland report, recent industry developments, and broader environmental considerations, highlights the complex interplay of opportunities and challenges within Ireland's data centre sector. It serves as a call to action for industry professionals to contribute to Ireland's economic resilience and environmental sustainability in the unfolding digital age.

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