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Ireland

(last updated: 30.03.2020)

 

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 Frances Kiernan (as of 4 September 2018) and Estonia's Ambassador to Ireland is Aino Lepik von Wirèn (as of 4 September 2018).

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), Mait Martinson (2010-2014) and Kristi Karelsohn (2014-2018). 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), Peter McIvor (2010-2014) and Frank Flood (2014-2018) 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.

 

Visits

 

To Ireland
January - February 2018 Prime Minister Jüri Ratas
February 2017 Speaker of the Riigikogu Eiki Nestor
January 2016 Commander of the Estonian Defence Forces, General Riho Terras
March 2013 Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Paet
February 2013 Minister of Defence Urmas Reinsalu
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
April 2008 President Toomas Hendrik Ilves on a state visit
October 2006 Foreign Minister Urmas Paet
May 2004 Prime Minister Juhan Parts
February 2003 Prime Minister Siim Kallas
March 2000 Foreign Minister Toomas Hendrik Ilves

 

To Estonia
September 2018 Simon Coveney, Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Seán Ó Fearghaíl, Chairman of Dáil Éireann
May 2017 Dara MurphyMinister of State for European Affairs and Data Protection, and Pat Breen, Minister of State for Employment and Small Business
May 2004 Prime Minister Bertie Ahern
October 2003 Minister for Defence Michael Smith
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

Agreements

The following agreements have ben signed between Ireland and Estonia:

  • Agreement on the exchange of cultural experts (signed 16 Apr 1999).
  • 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 Visa Free Travel (came into force 1 May 1996);

Economic Relations

 

TRADE

Ireland ranks as Estonia's 32nd-36th main trading partner. Trade between Ireland and Estonia has grown in the past years, mostly on account of rising imports.

According to the data of Statistics Estonia, Ireland ranked as Estonia’s 36th trading partner in 2019 (turnover 72,3 mln euros, 0,2% of total trade). Estonian exports to Ireland made up 20 mln euros and import from Ireland 52 mln euros. During 2015-2018 Estonian export to Ireland declined, but started to grow again in 2019. The largest export items to Ireland are wood and wooden products and machinery and equipment. The export of goods of an Estonian origin has also declined - 95% share in 2014, 60% share in 2017.

Trade between Estonia and Ireland in 2013-2019 (million euros):

Year Export % Import % Turnover %
2013 26.3 0.2% 40.2 0.3% 66.5 0.3%
2014 24.9 0.2% 36.3 0.3% 61.2 0.2%
2015 19.6 0.2% 33.3 0.3% 63.9 0.3%
2016 18.1 0.2% 48.8 0.4% 67.2 0.3%
2017 14.0 0.1% 75.6 0.5% 89.6 0.3%
2018 17.5 0,1% 52.2 0.3% 69.7 0.2%
2019 20.0 0,2% 52.3 0,3% 72.3 0.2%

All economic figures originate from the Statistical Office of Estonia

Main export articles in 2019:

  • Wood and wooden products - 20%
  • Machinery and equipment - 16.5%
  • Chemical products - 15%

Main import articles in 2019:

  • Machinery and equipment - 64%
  • Prepared foodstuffs, beverages - 8.8%
  • Chemical (including pharmaceutical) products - 8%

 

INVESTMENT

According to data from the Bank of Estonia, as of 31.12.2019, Irish companies had made investments totalling 182 million euros in Estonia, which is an increase from 101 million years the year before. Most Irish investments are made in real estate, finance and insurance.

According to the Estonian Commercial Register, there were 133 businesses with Irish capital registered in Estonia, as of September 2019. The largest Irish investments are in enterprises such as Domina Vacanze Holding (Pro Kapital), Baltic Advisor (financial consulting), Eesti ERA (agriculture), Saka ERA (agriculture), OÜ Kserum Trans Service (construction works).

As of 31.12.2019, Estonian companies had invested approximately 1.5 million euros in Ireland, mainly in the wholesale and retail trade, ICT, real estate and professional, scientific and technical activities.

 

TOURISM

Interest among Irish residents towards Estonia has been steadily increasing over the years. There were 9,800 visits in 2018, compared to 8,100 in 2016. Over 70% of the visits to Estonia were several days long and on average lasted for approximately 5,1 days. Most popular destinations alongside Tallinn were Tartu county and Pärnu county. In December 2010, Ryanair established a direct flight route between Tallinn and Dublin, which has worked in favour of increasing the number of visitors from Ireland.

Estonian residents made 7,300 visits to Ireland in 2018, compared to almost 8,000 in 2017. Most of the visits lasted for mutliple days and Estonian residents spent on average 4,9 days in the country.

Culture

 

100th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia in 2018 was celebrated with several cultural events in Ireland, including a concert by Estonian National Philharmonic Chamber Choir in Dublin. Estonia’s Prime Minister Jüri Ratas attended the concert and the reception before the concert. In April, the Estonian-Irish duo Kärt Ruubel/Neasa Ni Bhriain performed in Dublin. Maria Nuut performed in Bray Jazz and her concert was recorded on the Irish National Radio Station.

Doris Kareva preformed at the 2019 Cork International Poerty Festival and Tartu Brass Band in Dublin and Limerick.

Performances with Arvo Pärt’s music in Ireland are frequent. In March 2013, during the festival 10 Days in Dublin, Arvo Pärt’s work “Passio” was performed. In February 2008, the world premier or Arvo Pärt’s composition “The Deer’s Cry” took place in Ireland. The annual RTE Living Music Festival of 2008 was dedicated to Arvo Pärt.

Many Estonian choirs have performed at Cork Choir Festival, conductors Eri Klas and Paul Mägi, Kristjan Järvi and Tõnu Kaljuste have worked with Irish orchestras.

Irish literature is well known to Estonian readers thanks to many translations throughout the years. The works of various well-known Irish writers, including W.B. Yeatsi, Jonathan Swift, G.B. Shaw, James Joyce, Maeve Binchy, and John Binville, have been translated into Estonian. The works of Estonian poets Kristiina Ehin and Andres Ehin have been translated into Irish language. In 2009, a first Estonian-English-Irish collection of poetry „Põletades pimedust“ („An Dorchadas à Dhó“) by Kristiina Ehin was published.

The repertoire of Estonian theatres constantly includes works by Irish playwrights, such as Samuel Beckett, Brian Friel, Martin MacDonagh, and Judy Upton.
The film "The little comrade" was shown in the 2019 Dublin Film Festival and the 31st Galway film festival was dedicated to Estonia. In the past few years Estonian films “Autumn Ball”, “The Class”, “Memories Denied”, “The Purge“, “Tangerines” and “Captain Morten and the Spider Queen” have been screened in Ireland.

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

In cooperation with Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian embassies, Baltic Day is held in Dublin every year since 2016. The festival introduces Baltic national cultures, food products and handicrafts.

ESTONIANS IN IRELAND

There approximately 3000 Estonians living in Ireland. The proportion of Estonians in the population of Ireland is 0.05%. The Estonian community in Ireland is very active, but no common Estonian Society or association has been founded. The Estonian Cultural and Sports Society was created in August 2012, and an Estonian school in Dublin opened in September 2012. Additionally, a female folk dance group, Iiris, was founded in Dublin in 2011.

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, however, it closed in 2016.

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