Ireland’s top 10 directors: The people who hold the most positions in live companies


David Kearney: 409 companies
William Curren: 399 companies


Behind the facade of Central Chambers, off Grafton Street in Dublin, is the
biggest company-formation group in Ireland. It is Kearney Curran & Co,
where more than 4,000 companies have been registered.

David Kearney and William Curran are the registered directors of 409 and 399 live companies, mostly though their work at Kearney Curran.

Director Desmond Kearney says on behalf of his employees: “They act as director for one day only, for the purpose of quick incorporations . . . resign the day after incorporation and appoint the new directors.

"The change to new directors takes a few weeks to filter through the CRO system, hence a large number of directorships appear in their names."

Florence Patrick McCarthy: 320
Edward Gleeson: 319


Flor McCarthy and Eddie Gleeson run Food-Bridge, a small meat-trading firm. Gleeson holds 319 directorships and McCarthy is the registered director of 320 companies associated with Food-Bridge.

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McCarthy says: “I can confirm I am the director of 320 live companies in Ireland; that’s a matter of public record.”

Gleeson declined to respond.

Peter Queally: 224
John Queally: 196


The Queally brothers are based in Waterford. Peter holds 224 directorships, John 196 and their brother Ivor 108. The family is involved with Irish meat-processing operations, property in South Africa and a Spanish water-distribution company. The Queallys declined to comment.

Richard Nolan: 212
Ray MacSharry jnr: 196

Ray MacSharry jnr is a director of 196 live companies in Ireland. MacSharry, with Richard Nolan, who holds 212 directorships, runs the animal-testing company Celtic Diagnostics and is involved in the food-production industry. MacSharry declined to comment.


John Kershaw: 178

John Kershaw is a director of 178 companies, mostly related to the
Independent Pharmacy Ownership Scheme and the pharmacy distributor Uniphar.

Kershaw says: “It’s a group structure, so you’d have common shareholders across all those companies, and you’d have holding companies too. I have no financial or beneficial interest in these companies; I just act as a director.

"There are also other companies where the pharmacist in the equation has been able to buy the company and we're no longer part of the structure . . . When ownership changes, I'm no longer a director."

Johnny Ronan: 155

The property developer Johnny Ronan is a director of 155 live companies. His business partner, Richard Barrett, is a director of 131. Many of the firms are holding companies or firms linked to individual properties or developments that form part of the now liquidated Treasury Holdings. Shortly before its liquidation, Barrett acquired Treasury subsidiaries via a Jersey-based company, Oriental Management Services .The subsidiaries provided management services to Treasury China Trust, a company in which Barrett and Ronan are significant shareholders. Ronan and Barrett both declined to comment.