THE IRISH BACKERS
TWO Athlone-based businessmen are behind the hub -- Aidan Kelly (56), described as a builder and with an address at Roncalli, Kiltoom, Athlone; and Michael O'Sullivan (54), a solicitor with an address at Wineport, Ballykeeran in Athlone.
The two men are directors of a company called Athlone Business Park Ltd, which was formed in 2000 and granted planning permission for the hub by An Bord Pleanala in December last year.
The chief executive of Athlone Business Park is former Roscommon County manager John Tiernan. He retired from the local authority in 2008, just a year before the grandiose plans for the Europe-China Trading Hub were born.
THE CHINESE BACKERS
TWO Chinese businessman are also behind the hub -- Ken Chan (53) and Chunxiao Zhou (48) -- both of whom are directors of a company called Inchmid Ltd, which was established in June 2009 and has its registered address at a chartered accountancy firm in Athlone, O'Farrell and Company.
Mr Zhou's address is given as Houshayo Shuni District in Beijing. Mr Chan originally gave an address in Shenzhen City in the Guangdong province in China, but that has since changed to one at 308 Brooksland Road in Sale, Manchester. Mr Chan is also involved in another company called Honcur Ltd.
A business plan for the project says three companies are involved in the hub -- Athlone Investment Holdings (Hong Kong) Co Ltd, Athlone Investment Holdings (UK) Co Ltd and Athlone Investment Holdings (China) Co Ltd.
A man called Man Wai Chan -- with the same address in Sale and date of birth as Ken Chan -- is listed as a director of Athlone Investment Holdings (China) Ltd.
Another company called Athlone Marketing Company Ltd, incorporated in September 2009, lists Aidan Kelly, Chunxiao Zhao and Man Wai Chan as directors.