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Does 'Twitter Limited' mean Twitter is coming to Dublin?

‘Twitter Limited’ was registered on January 24th – does that mean one of the tech world’s hottest sites is setting up shop here?

Image: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

RUMOURS that Twitter is to set up a European base in Ireland have been ongoing for quite some time – ever since December, when the Guardian reported that a European HQ was to be set up this year, rumours have flown about the microblogging site following Google and Facebook in setting up its continental headquarters in Ireland.

This morning our colleague Ciarán Maher noted that a company, ‘Twitter Limited’, was founded in Ireland – a potential sign that the site was readying itself for a corporate expansion into Ireland – and filed with the Companies Registration Office just last month.

We’ve had a look into the records, however, and the signs aren’t quite so promising.

First of all, it’s worth doing a quick Google search for the address at which the company has been filed: 74 Lower Camden Street, Dublin 2. The first result returned is a place page for an ‘Online Company & Tax Registration in Ireland’ service, mycompany.ie – essentially, an enterprise that assists people in setting up off-the-shelf companies.

Digging a little deeper, though, the details in the company’s 9-page memorandum of association are also unlikely to add further fuel to the fires: Twitter Inc., the US-based corporation that owns Twitter, is not a shareholder in the new ‘Twitter Limited’. The sole shareholder is a David Colleran with an address in Bray, who has taken 100 shares at €1 each.

[Edit: Reader Colm King has spotted, in the comments section below, that the address is also used by Colleran & Company Chartered Accountants; mycompany.ie, on closer inspection, appears to be a business operation of the same accountancy firm.]

What’s more, of the 23 listed ‘objects for which the Company is established’, only one has any reference to the internet or online activity; the rest are standard issue statements saying the company will, in short, make whatever infrastructural investment and raise whatever funds it needs in order to pursue its goals.

(Click the photo below to enlarge.)

The single internet-focussed goal of the company is:

To carry on businesses of the provision of online marketing, communicating and entertainment.

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The final nail in the idea's coffin is that Twitter Limited does not, it would appear, even own the business names of 'Twitter' or 'Twitter Ireland' - the former is registered to an address that coincides with that of WebSpider.ie, a Galway-based web development company; the latter's address, on Wicklow Street in Dublin 2, coincides with that of web design firm Ripe.ie.

In conclusion? While it's possible that the Twitter Ltd company has been established by someone with a professional relationship with Twitter Inc, and has set the company up on their authority, it strikes us as unusually odd that Twitter Inc. would not at least take some formal ownership in the company.

The more likely situation is that the company has been set up by a speculator looking to have a chance of muscling into Twitter's operations if it does, eventually, open operations within this jurisdiction.

(Twitter Limited in the UK, incidentally, was incorporated in March 2009, but is formally listed as a 'dormant company' at present, having not filed accounts in the meantime.)

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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