The microbial composition of smear-ripened cheeses is not very clear. A total of 194 bacterial isolates and 187 yeast isolates from the surfaces of four Irish farmhouse smear-ripened cheeses were identified at the midpoint of ripening using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), repetitive sequence-based PCR, and 16S rRNA gene sequencing for identifying and typing the bacteria and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and mitochondrial DNA restriction fragment length polymorphism (mtDNA RFLP) analysis for identifying and typing the yeast. The yeast microflora was very uniform, and Debaryomyces hansenii was the dominant species in the four cheeses. Yarrowia lipolytica was also isolated in low numbers from one cheese. The bacteria were highly diverse, and 14 different species, Corynebacterium casei, Corynebacterium variabile, Arthrobacter arilaitensis, Arthrobacter sp., Microbacterium gubbeenense, Agrococcus sp. nov., Brevibacterium linens, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Staphylococcus equorum, Staphylococcus saprophyticus, Micrococcus luteus, Halomonas venusta, Vibrio sp., and Bacillus sp., were identified on the four cheeses. Each cheese had a more or less unique microflora with four to nine species on its surface. However, two bacteria, C. casei and A. arilaitensis, were found on each cheese. Diversity at the strain level was also observed, based on the different PFGE patterns and mtDNA RFLP profiles of the dominant bacterial and yeast species. None of the ripening cultures deliberately inoculated onto the surface were reisolated from the cheeses. This study confirms the importance of the adventitious, resident microflora in the ripening of smear cheeses.