At the outset, I should clarify that there is no restriction under company law on residents of Northern Ireland being directors of Irish registered companies. I am taking it that the issue the Deputy is referring to relates to the requirement, as per Section 137 of the Companies Act 2014, that a company on the register of companies must have at least one EEA resident director. As an alternative, a company can either put a bond in place pursuant to Section 137(2) of the Companies Act 2014, or obtain a certificate, in accordance with Section 140, from the Registrar of Companies certifying that the company has a real and continuous link with one or more economic activities that are being carried on in the State.
As a consequence of the UK leaving the European Union, and the ending of the transition period on 31st December 2020, with effect from 1st January 2021, UK (including Northern Ireland) resident directors of companies registered in Ireland are not considered resident in the EEA for the purposes of Section 137. Companies that previously relied on having a UK (including Northern Ireland) resident director to meet the requirements of Section 137 are required to either appoint an EEA resident director or else pursue one of the alternative options.
I understand that the number of companies impacted by this issue is not readily available but that in the region of 2,000 bonds have been received by the Companies Registration Office in 2021 in relation to the EEA residency requirement.