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Ireland - Relations



Ireland (Éire) recognised the Republic of Estonia on 27 August 1991 and diplomatic relations were established on 10 September 1991. Ireland has never recognized Estonia's annexation neither de iure or de facto.

Ireland's Ambassador to Estonia is Frank Flood (as of 18 September 2014) and Estonia's Ambassador to Ireland is Kristi Karelsohn (as of 16 September 2014).

Previously, Estonia was represented in Ireland by Ambassador Riivo Sinijärv (1994-1995), Ambassador Raul Mälk (1996-2003), Ambassador Simmu Tiik (2003-2006), Ambassador Andre Pung (2006-2010) and Mait Martinson (2010-2014). Chargé d'Affaires have been a.i. Jüri Seilenthal (1997-1999), Chargé d'Affaires a.i. Triin Parts (1999-2002) and Chargé d'Affaires a.i. Krista Kilvet (2002-2003).

On 3 December 1991 Paul D. Dempsey, residing in Stockholm, was accredited as Ireland's first ambassador to Estonia. He was succeeded by Dáithí O'Ceallaigh (1995-1998) and Gearóid Ó Broin (1999–2001), both residing in Helsinki. The first ambassador to reside in Tallinn was Sean Farrell (2001-2004). After that, Noel Kilkenny (2004-2008), Thomas Bolster (2008-2010) and Peter McIvor (2010-2014) have also resided here.

From 1927-1931 the honorary consul of the Republic of Estonia in Dublin was Richard J. Kelly, from 1937-1938 it was Thomas Franklin Laurie, and from 1938-1960 the role was fulfilled by John McEvoy.



To Ireland
April 2013 Minister of Agriculture Helir-Valdor Seeder
April 2013 Minister of Finance Jürgen Ligi
March 2013 Minister of Social Affairs Taavi Rõivas
March 2013 Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Paet
February 2013 Minister of Defence Urmas Reinsalu
January 2013 Minister of the Interior Ken-Marti Vaher
December 2012 Foreign Minister Urmas Paet at OSCE Ministerial
June 2012 President Toomas Hendrik Ilves at the OSCE internet freedom conference in Dublin
April 2012 President Toomas Hendrik Ilves on a working visit
November 2011 Minister of Agriculture Helir-Valdor Seeder
April 2008 President Toomas Hendrik Ilves on a state visit
October 2006 Foreign Minister Urmas Paet
May 2006 Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications Edgar Savisaar
May 2006 Minister of of Education and Research Mailis Reps
October 2005 Population Minister Paul-Erik Rummo
May 2004 Prime Minister Juhan Parts
February 2003 Prime Minister Siim Kallas
August 2002 Minister of Social Affairs Siiri Oviir at the Forum of the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions in Dublin
March 2001 Minister of Education Tõnis Lukas
March 2000 Foreign Minister Toomas Hendrik Ilves


To Estonia
October 2012 Minister for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton
September 2012 Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney
May 2012 Irish Central Bank Governor Patrick Honohan
March 2005 Minister for Social Affairs Seamus Brennan
May 2004 Prime Minister Bertie Ahern
December 2003 Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Mary Harney
October 2003 Minister for Defence Michael Smith
October 2003 Minister for Labour Affairs Frank Fahey
July 2003 Minister for European Affairs Dick Roche
June 2003 Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources Dermot Ahern
June 2003 Prime Minister Bertie Ahern
May 2001 President Mary McAleese on state visit, accompanied by Minister of Culture Sile de Valera and Deputy Secretary of State Peter Ryan


  • Agreement on Visa Free Travel (came into force 1 May 1996);
  • Agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and for the Prevention of Tax Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income and Capital (came into force 29 December 1998);
  • Agreement on the exchange of cultural experts (signed 16 Apr 1999).

Economic Relations

The business delegation of British-Estonian Chamber of Commerce visited Belfast and Dublin in October 2013 for various meetings. In November 2013 a public-private financial sector cluster organisation Finance Estonia visited Dublin.


According to the data of Statistics Estonia, in 2013 Ireland ranked as Estonia’s 31th trade partner.  Trade with Ireland made up about 0.2% of total trade (53.8 million euros) and the balance was negative for Estonia.

Trade between Estonia and Ireland in 2006-2013 (million euros):

Year Export Import
2006 37.5 23.2
2007 29.1 45.7
2008 13.1 50.0
2009 9.5 23.7
2010 14.2 31.4
2011 8.9 32.5
2012 17.3 37.3
2013 26.3 36.6

Main export articles in 2013:

  • Machinery and equipment - 47,8%
  • Vegetable products - 25,6%
  • Wood and wooden products - 15,4%
  • Chemical products - 5,2%

Main import articles in 2013:

  • Machinery and equipment - 43,6%
  • Food and drink beverages - 24,9%
  • Chemical products - 18,9%
  • Animal products - 3,9%


According to Bank of Estonia data, as of 31 December 2013 Irish companies had made investments totalling 60.5 million euros in value in Estonia, which made up 0.4% of all foreign investments in Estonia. Most Irish investments were made in real estate, wholesale and retail trade, agriculture, and wood processing. The largest Irish investments have been made the ProKapital Group, QBE Insurance Estonia, Balcas Estonia, and Myles EStamp. As of the same date, Estonian companies had invested 6,3 million euros in Ireland. Investments have been made in real estate, as well as in the wholesale and retail trade.

All economic figures originate from the Statistical Office of Estonia


The Irish airline Ryanair opened a direct flight route between Tallinn and Dublin in December 2010..  In the fall of 2012, a seasonal schedule was adopted, which means that flights were stopped in the winter period (Nov.-March). In the summer of 2014, Ryanair flew between Tallinn and Dublin twice a week.

Culture and Education

Tartu University has good co-operation ties with the oldest university in Ireland, Trinity College. The EU’s Erasmus programme helps to maintain ties between educational institutions.

Awareness about Estonia in Ireland was also aided by football. Two games took place between the Estonian and Irish football teams in Tallinn and Dublin in 2012, in the play-off round of the European Cup qualifiers. As a result, numerous articles appeared in the Irish media introducing both Estonia and Tallinn.


A  milestone in cultural relations was the publishing of the first tri-lingual Estonian-English-Irish collection of poetry, Kristiina Ehin’s “Põletades pimedust”, which was introduced in Dublin in November 2009. In October an Estonian language day took place for the first time in Ireland in co-operation with the Estonian Mother Tongue Society and the Ministry of Education and Research.

The works of various well-known Irish writers, including James Joyce, Maeve Binchy, and John Binville, have been translated into Estonian. “Rogha Danta”, the combined work of 7 Irish poets, was translated by Doris Kareva and published in 2005.

In 2012 Petrone Print published Kristiina Piip’s book “My Dublin” (“Minu Dublin”).

In February 2012, an evening of contemporary music and poetry took place at the Irish Writers Centre. Estonian poetry was read and there was a performance by the ensemble “Resonabilis”.


From July to November 2013, the works of painter Marko Mäetamme were shown at an exhibition entitled “Modern Families: Relatives and Relationships in Art” at the Lewis Glucksman Gallery of the University College Cork. In March, the same gallery featured the works of Estonian video artist Kai Kaljo as part of the exhibition “Passports: Globalisation in Contemporary European Video”.

In Apil 2012 there was an exhibition of the young Estonian artist Ulla Juske entitled “Gatecrasher” at the Mad Art Gallery.

In August 2011 the art festival “The Power of Local” took place on Ireland’s western coat in the town of Ennistymon. Estonia was represented there by the artists’ group Vedelik.

In April 2008, an exhibit was opened in Dublin with the help of the Museum of Estonian Architecture entitled "History Reflected in Architecture".

In November 2006, Aet Kuuskemaa's lithography exhibition about Tallinn and Endel Grensmann's aerial photography exhibition "Bird's-eye View of Estonia" were open to the public at the Dublin City Hall. Endel Grensmann’s exhibit of aerial photos was also on display in the European Union House in Dublin in February 2007.

In June 2006, in co-operation with the Japanese Embassy, Ann Tenno's photo exhibition "Japanese Garden" took place at Oscar Wilde's house in Dublin.

In January 2005, the Estonian Jewellers group FFFF’s exhibition at Cork Vision Centre helped open the Cultural Capital 2005 in that Irish city. In March 2005, Ene-Liis Semper and Mark Raidpere's exhibition was opened in Dublin's Temple Bar Gallery.

In March 2004, the exhibition "New Frontiers" was opened in the Irish National Art Gallery, where 6 works from the Estonian Art Gallery were on display: Konrad Mägi "Vilsandi motiiv" (Vilsandi Motif) 1913-1914, Arnold Akberg "Daam lapsega" (Lady with Child) 1926, Johannes Greenberg "Naine maskidega" (Woman with Masks) 1935, Andrus Johan "Köögis" (In the Kitchen) 1935, Kristjan Raud "Ohverdamine" (Sacrificing) 1935, Aleksander Vardi "Alasti suvel" (Naked in Summer) 1939.


In December 2013 Liisi Koikson Trio performed in St. Catherine Church in Dublin.

In March 2013, Arvo Pärt’s piece “Passio” was performed at the festival “10 Days in Dublin” by The National Chamber Choir of Ireland, Theatre of Voices (from Denmark) and YXUS Ensemble (from Estonia), with Paul Hillier as conductor.

In July 2012 the works of composer Urmas Sisask premiered at an event entitled “The Longest River”, which took place at the St. Ann Church and was organized by the Maritime Institute of Ireland.  

In February 2011 an evening of guitar music with Heiki Mätlik took place in the Royal Dublin Society House.

In 2009 Irish people had the opportunity to become acquainted with the exhibit compiled by the Estonian Theatre and Music Museum entitled “Arvo Pärt—Known and Unknown” which took place in Dublin.

The world premiere of Arvo Pärt's composition "The Deer's Cry" took place on 13-14 February. The piece was commissioned by the Louth Contemporary Music Society and was inspired by the text on St. Patrick's breastplate. Within the framework of the same event, Pärt's instrumental pieces "Fratres", "Spiegel im Spiegel", and "Für Alina" were also performed. In addition, the annual RTE Living Music festival that took place from 15-17 February was entirely dedicated to Arvo Pärt. The opening notes of the festival were sounded in the National Concert Hall by the RTE Philharmonic Choir under the direction of Tõnu Kaljuste. The works of Arvo Pärt were performed during many concerts in Dublin's largest concert halls. The composer himself was there, and it was possible for people to attend workshops within the framework of the festival.

Rising young pianist Sten Lassmann was the opening act for Cork's yearly concert series "Our mEUsical partners" in July 2007. The programme included works by Heino Eller. In September the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir conducted by Tõnu Kaljuste gave four concerts at various locations in Ireland.

Many Estonian choirs have participated in the Cork International Choral Festival, and conductors Eri Klas, Paul Mägi, Tõnu Kaljuste, and Kristjan Järvi have worked with Irish orchestras.

In November 2006, concerts by the Johanson siblings took place. They performed at Gobblestone Pub in Dublin and in O`Riada Hall at Cork University.


The repertoires of Estonian theatres have long included the plays of Brian Friel ("Aristocrats" at the Estonian Drama Theatre) and Martin McDonagh ("Connemara:The Lonesome West" at the Rakvere Theatre, "The Cripple of Inishmaan" at the Tallinn City Theatre and "The Beauty Queen of the Mountains" at the Vanemuine Theatre). In 2003, McDonagh's play "The Lieutenant of Inishmore" had its premiere at the Estonian Drama Theatre and Judy Upton's play "Ashes and Sand", staged by the young Irish producer Annabelle Comyn, had its debut at the Estonian State Puppet Theatre. In October 2013 Irish comedians Keith Farnan and Paddy Lennox performed in Tallinn and Tartu.

Irish films have been shown at the Black Nights Film Festival A special programme of the films of Neil Jordan, the most renowned Irish filmmaker, was held in 2006.  In 2010 and 2011, Neil Jordan’s romantic fantasy film “Undine” was screened in Estonian cinemas. , The Estonian films "Autumn Ball" and "Class" participated in the international Jameson Film Festival in Dublin in February 2008. In April, Imbi Paju's film "Tõrjutud mälestused" ("Memories denied") premiered in Ireland.

In November 2011 the Estonian films “Rat-trap” and “The Snow Queen” were screened at the Cork Corona Film Festival.

In July 2011 the dance troupe “Sõprus” performed at the Cork International Dance Festival and in many locations in County Cork.

Estonians in Ireland

According to the data of the 2011 census in Ireland, 2 560 Estonian citizens lived in Ireland at that time. The proportion of Estonians in the population of Ireland is 0.05%. Over the past few years a remarkable number of Estonian children have been born in Ireland. The Estonian Cultural and Sports Society was created in August 2012, and under which  an Estonian school in Ireland became active September 2012,  Additionally, an female traditional dancing group, Iirised, is active in Dublin.

In April 2009, an Estonian family society, Üheskoos, was created in Cork to bring together the Estonian families living in the area. On 14 September 2013, the Cork Estonian School opened its doors.


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