This study involved the phenotypic and molecular characterization of a population of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus isolates from animals and from veterinary personnel in Ireland. Isolates from 77 animals (dogs, n=44; cats, n=4; horses, n=29) and from 28 veterinary personnel were characterized using their antimicrobial resistance profiles and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis patterns. In addition, a representative number of these isolates (n=52) were further analysed using spa-typing techniques. The results obtained identified the presence of three distinct clonal complexes, CC5, CC8 and CC22, in both animal and human isolates. Two of these clonal complexes, CC8 and CC22, respectively, have been previously described in animals in Ireland but the presence of the third complex CC5 is a novel finding. The significance of this development, in relation to human and animal healthcare, is discussed.