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New Irish companies legislation recently introduced will increase considerably the corporate compliance requirements to which Irish companies and their directors are subject. The Companies (Auditing and Accounting) Act 2003 which was signed into law last year (although it has only become operative to a limited extent to date) introduces requirements that are unique to Ireland, including the formal certification by directors of matters related to compliance by Irish companies with legal obligations. These obligations apply to many unquoted as well as quoted companies and will result in directors of Irish companies having, in some respects, greater responsibilities than those imposed by the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation in the US.

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