Foreign Relations of Ireland
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Foreign Relations of Ireland

The foreign relations of Ireland are substantially influenced by its membership of the European Union, although bilateral relations with the United States and United Kingdom are also important to the state. It is one of the group of smaller nations in the EU, and has traditionally followed a non-aligned foreign policy. Ireland has historically tended towards independence in foreign military policy, thus it is not a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and has a longstanding policy of military neutrality. According to the Irish Defence Forces, the neutrality policy has helped them to be successful in their contributions to United Nations peace-keeping missions since 1960 (in the Congo Crisis) and subsequently in Cyprus, Lebanon and Bosnia and Herzegovina.[1]

Main relationships

United Kingdom

Embassy of Ireland in London

Since at least the 1100s Ireland has had political connections with the United Kingdom and its predecessor states, with the whole island becoming a part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 1801 to 1922. From the time of Ireland became independent from the United Kingdom in 1922, the two countries have been involved in a dispute over the status of Northern Ireland. Articles 2 and 3 of the Constitution of Ireland formerly claimed Northern Ireland as a part of the "national territory", though in practice the Irish government did recognise the UK's jurisdiction over the region.
From the onset of the Troubles in 1969, the two governments sought to bring the violence to an end. The Sunningdale Agreement of 1973 and the Anglo-Irish Agreement of 1985 were important steps in this process. In 1998, both states signed the Good Friday Agreement and now co-operate closely to find a solution to the region's problems. Articles 2 and 3 of the Constitution of Ireland were amended as part of this agreement, the territorial claim being replaced with a statement of aspiration to unite the people of the island of Ireland. As part of the Good Friday Agreement, the states also ended their dispute over their respective names: Ireland and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Each agreed to accept and use the others' correct name.

When the Troubles were raging in Northern Ireland, the Irish Government sought, with mixed success, to prevent the import of weapons and ammunition through its territory by illegal paramilitary organisations for use in their conflict with the security forces in Northern Ireland. In 1973 three ships of the Irish Naval Service intercepted a ship carrying weapons from Libya which were probably destined for Irish Republican paramilitaries.[2] Law enforcement acts such as these additionally improved relations with the government of the United Kingdom. However, the independent judiciary blocked a number of attempts to extradite suspects between 1970 and 1998 on the basis that their crime might have been 'political' and thus contrary to international law at the time.

Ireland is one of the parties to the Rockall continental shelf dispute that also involves Denmark, Iceland, and the United Kingdom. Ireland and the United Kingdom have signed a boundary agreement in the Rockall area. However, neither have concluded similar agreements with Iceland or Denmark (on behalf of the Faroe Islands) and the matter remains under negotiation. Iceland now claims[3] a substantial area of the continental shelf to the west of Ireland, to a point 49°48'N 19°00'W, which is further south than Ireland.

The controversial Sellafield nuclear fuel reprocessing plant in north-western England has also been a contentious issue between the two governments. The Irish government has sought the closure of the plant, taking a case against the UK government under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. However, the European Court of Justice found that the case should have been dealt with under EU law.[4] In 2006, however, both countries came to a friendly agreement which enabled both the Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland and the Garda Síochána (Irish Police Force) access to the site to conduct investigations.[5]

United States

Embassy of Ireland to the US, in Washington, D.C.

The United States recognised the Irish Free State on 28 June 1924 with diplomatic relations being established on 7 October 1924. In 1927, the United States opened an American Legation in Dublin.[6] Due to the ancestral ties between the two countries, Ireland and the US have a strong relationship, both politically and economically, with the US being Ireland's biggest trading partner since 2000.[7] Ireland also receives more foreign direct investment from the US than many larger nations, with investments in Ireland equal to France and Germany combined and, in 2012, more than all of developing Asia put together.[8]

The use of Shannon Airport as a stop-over point for US forces en route to Iraq has caused domestic controversy in Ireland. Opponents of this policy brought an unsuccessful High Court case against the government in 2003, arguing that this use of Irish airspace violated Irish neutrality.[9] Restrictions such as carrying no arms, ammunition, or explosives, and that the flights in question did not form part of military exercises or operations were put in place to defend Irish neutrality, however allegations have been made against the Central Intelligence Agency that the airport has been used between 30 and 50 times for illegal extraordinary rendition flights to the U.S without the knowledge of the Irish Government, despite diplomatic assurances by the US that Irish airspace would not be used for transport of detainees.[10][11]

In July 2006, the former Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dermot Ahern voiced concern over the 2006 Lebanon War.[12] A shipment of bombs being sent to Israel by the United States was banned using Irish airspace or airfields.[13]

In 1995 a decision was made by the U.S. government to appoint a Special Envoy to Northern Ireland to help with the Northern Ireland peace process. During the 2008 presidential campaign in the United States, however, Democratic Party candidate Barack Obama was reported as having questioned the necessity to keep a US Special Envoy for Northern Ireland. His remarks caused uproar within the Republican Party, with Senator John McCain questioning his leadership abilities and his commitment to the ongoing peace process in Northern Ireland.[14]

As of 2019, Daniel Mulhall is the Irish ambassador to the United States while the position of U.S. ambassador to Ireland is held by Edward F. Crawford.

Countries which Ireland has diplomatic relations with


China

Embassy of Ireland in Beijing

Ireland's official relationship with the People's Republic of China began on 22 June 1979.[15] Following his visit to China in 1999, former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern authorised the establishment of an Asia Strategy.[16] The aim of this Strategy was to ensure that the Irish Government and Irish enterprise work coherently to enhance the important relationships between Ireland and Asia.[16] In recent years due to the rapid expansion of the Chinese economy, China is becoming a key trade partner of Ireland, with over $6bn worth of bilateral trade between the two countries in 2010. In July 2013, the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade were invited to China by the Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi on a trade mission to boost both investment and political ties between the two countries.[17]

Ireland has raised its concerns in the area of human rights with China on a number of occasions. On 12 May 2007, during a visit to Beijing, former Taoiseach Brian Cowen (then Minister for Finance) discussed human rights issues with Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing.[18] Former Tánaiste Mary Coughlan also raised human rights issues and concerns with visiting Chinese Vice-Premier Zeng Peiyan.[18] Ireland also participates in the EU-China Human Rights Dialogue.

Concerning the Taiwan issue, Ireland follows a One-China policy and emphasizes to the Taiwan issue being best settled through dialogue "between the parties concerned". Ireland does not maintain official diplomatic ties with Taiwan although there is a Taipei Representative Office that has a representative function in relation to economic and cultural promotion.

In July 2019, the UN ambassadors from 22 nations, including Ireland, signed a joint letter to the UNHRC condemning China's mistreatment of the Uyghurs as well as its mistreatment of other minority groups, urging the Chinese government to close the Xinjiang re-education camps.[19][20]

Africa

  No formal diplomatic relations
Country Formal Relations Began Notes
Algeria Algeria January 1975[21]
  • Ireland is represented in Algeria through its embassy in Bern (Switzerland).
  • Algeria is represented in Ireland through its embassy in London (United Kingdom).
  • There are 1,047 Algerians living in Ireland.[22]
Angola Angola 24 January 2001[23]
  • Ireland is represented in Angola through its embassy in Maputo (Mozambique).
  • Angola is represented in Ireland through its embassy in London (United Kingdom).
  • Between 2006 and 2010 Angola received almost EUR7.6 million from the government of Ireland through Irish Aid.[24]
Benin Benin N/A Ireland does not maintain diplomatic relations with Benin.
Botswana Botswana
Burkina Faso Burkina Faso 1 May 2007[26]
Burundi Burundi 2004[28]
Cameroon Cameroon 23 April 2007[30]
  • Ireland is represented in Cameroon through its embassy in Abuja (Nigeria).
  • Cameroon is represented in Ireland through an honorary consulate in Dublin.
Cape Verde Cape Verde N/A Ireland does not maintain diplomatic relations with Cape Verde.
Central African Republic Central African Republic 26 June 2018 Ireland and the Central African Republic established diplomatic relations on 26 June 2018.[31]
Chad Chad 30 June 2000[32]
Comoros Comoros N/A Ireland does not maintain diplomatic relations with the Comoros.
Democratic Republic of the Congo Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Ireland is represented in the Democratic Republic of Congo through its embassy in Pretoria (South Africa).
  • Democratic Republic of Congo received EUR7.4 million in aid from Ireland in 2011.[34]
  • There are 1,770 citizens from between both the Republic of the Congo and Democratic Republic of Congo living in Ireland. The exact number from each is uncertain due to the fact Congo with no distinction was used solely in census reports.[22]
Republic of the Congo Republic of the Congo
  • Ireland is represented in the Republic of Congo through its permanent mission to the United Nations in New York (United States).
  • There are 1,770 citizens from between both the Republic of the Congo and Democratic Republic of Congo living in Ireland. The exact number from each is uncertain due to the fact Congo with no distinction was used solely in census reports.[22]
Djibouti Djibouti 6 July 2001[35]
Egypt Egypt December 1974[21]
  • Ireland has an embassy in Cairo and an honorary consulate in Alexandria.[37]
  • Egypt has an embassy in Dublin, the first embassy of an Arab country in Ireland.[38]
  • There are 1,055 Egyptians living in Ireland.[22]
Equatorial Guinea Equatorial Guinea N/A Ireland does not maintain diplomatic relations with Equatorial Guinea.
Eritrea Eritrea 2002[39]
Eswatini Eswatini N/A Ireland does not maintain diplomatic relations with Eswatini.
Ethiopia Ethiopia 1994[40] See Ethiopia-Ireland relations
  • Ireland has an embassy in Addis Ababa.
  • Ethiopia has an embassy in Dublin.
  • In 2011, Ethiopia received EUR36.4 million in aid from Ireland.[34]
  • In November 2014 the President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins visited Ethiopia on a state visit to celebrate 20 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries. During this visit a bilateral transport agreement was signed which paved the way for Ethiopian Airlines to commence direct flights to Dublin from Addis Ababa, the first between Ireland and Sub-Saharan Africa.[41]
Gabon Gabon
The Gambia The Gambia 29 May 2001[42]
Ghana Ghana 1990[44]
  • Ireland is represented in Ghana through its embassy in Abuja (Nigeria). Ireland also maintains a visa applications centre in Accra.
  • Ghana is represented in Ireland through its embassy in London (United Kingdom).
  • There are 1,158 Ghanaians living in Ireland.[22]
Guinea Guinea
Guinea-Bissau Guinea Bissau
Ivory Coast The Ivory Coast (Côte d'Ivoire) 3 May 2000[46]
Kenya Kenya
  • Ireland has an embassy in Nairobi.
  • Kenya has an embassy in Dublin.
  • Kenya received EUR9.3 million in aid from Ireland in 2011.[34]
  • There are approximately 2,000 Irish citizens living in Kenya.[48]
Lesotho Lesotho
  • Ireland is represented in Lesotho through its embassy in Pretoria, South Africa after closing its embassy in Maseru in 2014.
  • Lesotho has an embassy in Dublin.
  • In June 2006 the President of Ireland, Mary McAleese made a state visit to the country.[49]
  • Lesotho received EUR11.3 million in aid from Ireland in 2011.[34]
Liberia Liberia 2004[50]
Libya Libya 1977[52]
  • Ireland is represented in Libya through its embassy in Rome (Italy).
  • Libya is represented in Ireland through its embassy in London (United Kingdom).

Under Muammar Gaddafi, the prime governor of Libya from 1969 to 2011, relations between both countries were strained due to Gaddaffi's support of the Irish Republican Army. Gaddafi was sympathetic to their cause and also wanted revenge for the US Air Force's bombing attacks on Tripoli and Benghazi in 1986. Between 1984 and 1987 Libya sent the IRA about 1,000 AK47 assault rifles and six tonnes of Semtex explosive alongside other weapons. This shipment ensured The Troubles could continue for many more years, mainly until the Good Friday Agreement of 1998 ended the conflict.[53]

Madagascar Madagascar N/A Ireland does not maintain diplomatic relations with Madagascar.
Malawi Malawi 2002
  • Ireland has an embassy in Lilongwe and an honorary consulate in Blantyre.[54]
  • Malawi has an honorary consulate in Dublin.
  • Malawi received EUR17.5 million in aid from Ireland in 2011.[34]
  • In 2014 the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, made a state visit to Malawi.[55]
Mali Mali N/A Ireland does not maintain diplomatic relations with Mali.
Mauritania Mauritania N/A Ireland does not maintain diplomatic relations with Mauritania.
Mauritius Mauritius August 2000[56]
  • Ireland is represented in Mauritius through its embassy in Pretoria, (South Africa).
  • Mauritius is represented in Ireland through its high commission in London (United Kingdom).
  • There are 2,844 citizens of Mauritius living in Ireland.[57]

Following the murder of Irish tourist Michaela McAreavey on the island in January 2011, several Irish businesses proposed a boycott of the island due to the questionable trial in which all 3 suspects were acquitted.[58] Another source of discontent was the investigation by the Mauritian authorities. The Major Crime Investigation Team (MCIT), who were in charge, admitted they failed to interview fellow guests at the hotel who were staying close to the room in which the murder occurred. They also failed to preserve the crime scene and did not provide any solid DNA evidence against the accused.[59] As a result, the Irish ambassador to Mauritius conveyed in person to the Prime Minister of Mauritius, Navin Ramgoolam, a formal government to government protest over what happened.[60][61]

Morocco Morocco 19 March 1975[62]

In November 2012 Morocco recalled its ambassador to Ireland temporarily due to the fact the leader of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, Mohamed Abdelaziz, met with top Irish officials, including the President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins and the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Eamon Gilmore. The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic claims sovereignty over Western Sahara, a disputed territory that Morocco also claims to own.[63]

Mozambique Mozambique 13 June 1996[64]
  • Ireland has an embassy in Maputo.[65]
  • Mozambique is represented in Ireland through its embassy in London (United Kingdom).
  • Mozambique received EUR42.2 million in aid from Ireland in 2011.[34]
Namibia Namibia 1994[66]

Following Namibia's Independence from South Africa in 1990, Ireland sent 50 Garda officers as well as 20 military observers to the country as part of the United Nations Transition Assistance Group. This group as sent to monitor the peace process and elections taking place there at the time.[67]

Niger Niger
Nigeria Nigeria
Rwanda Rwanda
São Tomé and Príncipe São Tomé & Príncipe N/A Ireland does not maintain diplomatic relations with São Tomé and Príncipe.
Senegal Senegal
Seychelles Seychelles 9 October 1999[69]
Sierra Leone Sierra Leone 19 January 2000[71]
  • Ireland has an embassy in Freetown since 2014.
  • Sierra Leone is represented in Ireland through its embassy in London (United Kingdom) and an honorary consulate in Muine Bheag in Co. Carlow.
  • Sierra Leone received EUR9.1 million in aid from Ireland in 2011.[34]
  • Between 2005 and 2014 Ireland provided over EUR88 million in assistance to projects in Sierra Leone.[72]
Somalia Somalia
South Africa South Africa 1993[74]

A principled stand against apartheid by Ireland came to prevent the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. As a result, Ireland was the only EU country that did not have full diplomatic relations with South Africa until 1993, when an exchange of ambassadors was agreed with the De Klerk administration in anticipation of the ending of apartheid.

South Sudan South Sudan N/A Ireland does not maintain diplomatic relations with South Sudan.
Sudan Sudan 28 March 1984[77]
  • Ireland is represented in Sudan through its embassy in Cairo (Egypt) and an honorary consulate in Khartoum.[65]
  • Sudan has an embassy in Dublin.
  • Sudan received EUR9.6 million in aid from Ireland in 2011.[34]
  • There are 1,470 Sudanese living in Ireland.[22]
Tanzania Tanzania 1979[78]
Togo Togo 27 June 2018 Ireland and Togo established diplomatic relations on 27 June 2018.[80]
Tunisia Tunisia January 1975[21]
  • Ireland is represented in Tunisia through its embassy in Madrid (Spain) and an honorary consulate in Tunis.
  • Tunisia is represented in Ireland through its embassy in London (United Kingdom) and an honorary consulate in Dublin.
Uganda Uganda 1994
  • Ireland has an embassy in Kampala.
  • Uganda is represented in Ireland through its high commission in London (United Kingdom) and an honorary consulate in Dublin.
  • In 2011 Uganda received EUR42.7 million from Ireland through a variety of aid programmes.[34]
  • Irish people are one of the few citizens that do not need a visa to travel to Uganda.[81]

It was found in November 2012 that EUR4 million worth of Irish foreign aid was misappropriated by senior officials of the country. Instead of going towards aiding the development of the country, this money was redirected into the personal account of the prime minister of Uganda. The Irish government then halted all aid payments towards Uganda until the money was recouped, which eventually occurred in January 2013.[82]

Zambia Zambia 1965[83] See Ireland-Zambia relations
  • Ireland has an embassy in Lusaka.
  • Zambia is represented in Ireland through its High Commission in London (United Kingdom).
  • Zambia benefits greatly from Irish Aid programs, in 2010 the country received EUR20.58 million in total from the country.[34]
Zimbabwe Zimbabwe 1984
  • Ireland is represented in Zimbabwe through an honorary consulate in Harare.[84]
  • Zimbabwe is represented in Ireland through its embassy in London (United Kingdom).
  • Zimbabwe received EUR7.6 million in aid from Ireland in 2011.[34]
  • There are 1,537 Zimbabweans living in Ireland.[22]

Americas

  No formal diplomatic relations
Country Formal Relations Began Notes
Antigua and Barbuda Antigua and Barbuda 19 May 2000[85]
Argentina Argentina 21 July 1947[87] See Argentina-Ireland relations
  • Ireland has an embassy in Buenos Aires.
  • Argentina has an embassy in Dublin.
  • In 2012 the Irish president Michael D. Higgins became the third Irish President in succession to visit Argentina on a state visit.
  • In March 2008, a new visa programme between the two countries allowing young people from each country to work in the other for up to 9 months was announced.[88]
  • See Also: Irish Argentine
The Bahamas Bahamas 23 April 2007[89]
  • Ireland is represented in The Bahamas through its embassy in Ottawa (Canada) and an honorary consulate in Nassau.[90]
  • The Bahamas are represented in Ireland through their High Commission in London, (United Kingdom).
Barbados Barbados 3 May 2001[91]
Belize Belize 21 July 2000[93]
  • Although diplomatic relations with Belize are maintained through Ireland's Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York, (United States), Ireland is represented in Belize consularly through its embassy in Mexico City (Mexico).[94]
  • Belize is represented in Ireland through an honorary consulate in Dublin.
Bolivia Bolivia 1999[95]
  • Ireland is represented in Bolivia through its embassy in Buenos Aires, (Argentina) and an honorary consulate in La Paz, Bolivia.
  • Bolivia is represented in Ireland through its embassy in London, (United Kingdom).
  • In November 2015 the President of Bolivia Evo Morales made a state visit to Ireland, a first such visit between the two countries.[96]
Brazil Brazil 19 September 1975[97] See Brazil-Ireland relations
  • Ireland has an embassy in Brasília and an honorary consulate in São Paulo.
  • Brazil has an embassy in Dublin and an honorary consulate in Cork.
  • There are 8,704 Brazilians living in Ireland.[57]
  • Ireland is the fourth most popular country in the world for Brazilian students studying abroad.[98]
  • See also: Irish Brazilian
Canada Canada 11 September 1939[99] See Canada-Ireland relations
Chile Chile See also: Chile-Ireland relations
  • Chile has an embassy in Dublin.[101]
  • Ireland has an embassy in Santiago.[102]
  • A special visa program allowing young people from both countries to work in the other country for up to a year was announced in 2016.[103]
  • See also: Irish Chilean
Colombia Colombia 10 November 1999[104] See Colombia-Ireland relations
  • Ireland has an embassy in Bogotá.[105]
  • Colombia has an embassy in Dublin.[106]
  • Colombia received over EUR1 million in aid from Ireland in 2011.[34]
Costa Rica Costa Rica 15 September 2000[107]
Cuba Cuba 27 October 1999[110]
  • Ireland is accredited to Cuba through its embassy in Mexico City, Mexico.[108]
  • Cuba has an embassy in Dublin.
  • A large number of Irish people migrated to Cuba in the 19th century.
  • The Irish Republican political party, Sinn Féin is also known to have close political links to the Cuban government. In 2015 Sinn Féin party leader, Gerry Adams made an official visit to the country.[111]
Dominica Dominica 6 July 2001[112]
Dominican Republic Dominican Republic 6 July 2009[113]
  • Ireland is represented in the Dominican Republic through its embassy in Washington, D.C.
  • The Dominican Republic is represented in Ireland through its embassy in London, United Kingdom.
Ecuador Ecuador 20 October 1999[114]
El Salvador El Salvador 13 July 2000[115]
Grenada Grenada N/A Ireland does not maintain diplomatic relations with Grenada.
Guatemala Guatemala
  • Ireland is accredited to Guatemala through its embassy in Mexico City, Mexico and through its honorary consulate in Guatemala City.
  • Guatemala is represented in Ireland through its embassy in London, United Kingdom.
Guyana Guyana 2 February 2000[117]
  • Both countries established diplomatic relations on 2 February 2000.[118]
  • Ireland has an honorary consulate in Georgetown, Guyana.
  • Guyana is represented in Ireland through its embassy in London, United Kingdom.
Haiti Haiti 26 January 2012[119]
Honduras Honduras 11 December 1999[122]
Jamaica Jamaica 7 December 1997[124]
Mexico Mexico 10 January 1974[125] See Ireland-Mexico relations
Nicaragua Nicaragua 9 September 2003[129]
Panama Panama 14 February 2001[130]
Paraguay Paraguay 15 January 2001[132]
Peru Peru 27 June 1999[133]
  • Ireland is accredited to Peru from its embassy in Santiago, Chile and maintains an honorary consulate in Lima.
  • Peru has an embassy in Dublin.
Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Kitts & Nevis N/A Ireland does not maintain diplomatic relations with Saint Kitts and Nevis.
Saint Lucia Saint Lucia 2000[134]
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Saint Vincent & the Grenadines 10 December 2013[136]
Suriname Suriname N/A Ireland does not maintain diplomatic relations with Suriname.
Trinidad and Tobago Trinidad and Tobago 13 December 2000[138]
  • Ireland is represented in Trinidad & Tobago through Ireland's Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York (United States) and an honorary consulate in Port of Spain, Trinidad.
  • Trinidad & Tobago is represented in Ireland through its embassy in London, United Kingdom.
United States United States 7 October 1924[139] See above and Ireland-United States relations
Uruguay Uruguay
Venezuela Venezuela 26 September 1980[142]

Asia

  No formal diplomatic relations
Country Formal Relations Began Notes
Afghanistan Afghanistan 19 September 2002[143]
Armenia Armenia 28 June 1996[144]
  • Ireland recognised Armenia's independence in December 1991.
  • Armenia is represented in Ireland through its embassy in London (United Kingdom) and an honorary consulate in Dublin.[145]
  • Ireland is represented in Armenia through its embassy in Sofia (Bulgaria) and through an honorary consulate in Yerevan.[146]
  • Both countries are full members of the Council of Europe.
Azerbaijan Azerbaijan 1 July 1996[147]
Bahrain Bahrain 18 May 1974[149]
Bangladesh Bangladesh
Bhutan Bhutan N/A Ireland does not maintain diplomatic relations with Bhutan.
Brunei Brunei Darussalam
  • Ireland is represented in Brunei Darussalam through its embassy in Hanoi (Vietnam).
  • Brunei Darussalam is represented in Ireland through its embassy in London (United Kingdom).
Cambodia Cambodia
  • Ireland is represented in Cambodia through its embassy in Singapore.
  • Cambodia is represented in Ireland through its embassy in London (United Kingdom).
China China 22 June 1979[150] See above and China-Ireland relations
Georgia (country) Georgia 12 September 1996[153]
  • Ireland is represented in Georgia through its embassy in Sofia (Bulgaria).
  • Georgia has an embassy in Dublin.

Ireland supports EU initiatives to promote peace between Georgia and Russia. Ireland recognises Georgian sovereignty over the separatist regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Ireland condemned the decision of Russia to recognise South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states.[154] The separatist Parliament of Abkhazia expressly called on Ireland to recognise Abkhaz independence, drawing parallels between Ireland's own historic struggle for independence and international recognition with its own, the Abkhaz Parliament's statement recalling that:[155]

"Just like Ireland, Abkhazia has finally acquired long-awaited independence and recognition at the cost of enormous efforts...[Ireland] was de facto independent for a long time, but remained unrecognised. Ireland was the only unrecognised country in Europe until the world's largest country recognised a free parliament of Ireland. And that country was Russia".

The parallel the Abkhaz Parliament referred to stems from the fact that the breakaway and largely unrecognised Irish Republic (1919-22), enjoyed some form of recognition from the RSFSR.[]

India India 1947[156] See India-Ireland relations
Indonesia Indonesia 4 September 1984[157]
Iran Iran 17 February 1976[158]
  • Ireland is represented in Iran through its embassy in Ankara (Turkey) and an honorary consulate in Tehran. The Irish embassy in Iran was closed in 2012 for cost reasons,[159] however, the Embassy is due to reopen before the end of 2023.[160][161][162][163]
  • Iran has an embassy in Dublin.
  • After the conclusion of the Iran-Iraq War in 1988, Ireland sent 177 personnel to supervise the ceasefire as part of the United Nations led UNIIMOG.[164]
Iraq Iraq 1979[165]
Israel Israel January 1975[166] See Ireland-Israel relations

In 2010, the Israel Defense Forces forcibly boarded an Irish aid ship destined for the Gaza Strip which resulted in worsened relations, Israel's Mossad was also involved in the counterfeiting of five Irish passports used in an assassination, and 2 members of the Israeli ambassador's security staff in Dublin were subsequently deported.[169] In 2010, there were numerous protests at the Israeli embassy in Ireland over the treatment of Palestinians.[170]

Japan Japan 5 March 1957[171] See Ireland-Japan relations
Jordan Jordan
Kazakhstan Kazakhstan 10 April 1992[175]
Kuwait Kuwait October 1975[21]
Kyrgyzstan Kyrgyzstan 23 June 2000[176]
  • Ireland is represented in Kyrgyzstan through its embassy in Moscow (Russia).
Laos Laos 7 August 1998[177]
Lebanon Lebanon January 1975[21]
  • Ireland is represented in Lebanon through its embassy in Cairo (Egypt) and an honorary consulate in Beirut.
  • Lebanon is represented in Ireland through its embassy in London (United Kingdom).

From 1978 to 2001, a battalion of 580 Irish troops was deployed in Lebanon, rotating every 6 months, as part of the United Nations led force UNIFIL. In all, 30,000 Irish soldiers served in Lebanon over the 23 years. Over the course of this mission 48 Irish soldiers died in Lebanon.[178]

Malaysia Malaysia 1974[179]
Maldives Maldives 7 December 1999[180]
Mongolia Mongolia 22 December 1998[182]
Myanmar Myanmar 10 February 2004[183]
Nepal Nepal 19 August 1999[184]
North Korea North Korea 10 December 2003[186]
Oman Oman July 1987[188]
Pakistan Pakistan See Ireland-Pakistan relations
  • Ireland is represented in Pakistan through its embassy in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) and an honorary consulate in Karachi.
  • Pakistan has an embassy in Dublin.
  • There are 6,847 Pakistanis living in Ireland.[76]
  • Pakistan received over EUR1.5 million in aid from Ireland in 2011.[34]
State of Palestine Palestine 2000[189] See Ireland-Palestine relations
 Philippines 1984[193] See Ireland-Philippines relations
  • Diplomatic relations officially began in 1984 and have become more intense over the years as increasing numbers of Filipinos have migrated to Ireland.
  • Ireland is represented in The Philippines through its embassy in Singapore and an honorary consulate in Manila.
  • The Philippines are represented in Ireland through its embassy in London (United Kingdom) and an honorary consulate in Dublin.
  • There are 12,791 Filipinos living in Ireland.[76]
Qatar Qatar September 1974[194]
Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia September 1974[195]
Singapore Singapore 2 December 1974[196]
  • Ireland is represented in Singapore through its embassy in Singapore.
  • Singapore is represented in Ireland through its honorary consulate in Dublin.
South Korea South Korea 4 October 1983[197] The establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Ireland started on 4 October 1983.[198]
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka
  • Ireland is represented in Sri Lanka through its embassy in New Delhi (India) and an honorary consulate in Colombo.
  • Sri Lanka is represented in Ireland through an honorary consulate in Dublin.
Syria Syria
Taiwan Taiwan N/A Ireland does not maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan.
Tajikistan Tajikistan 18 July 2000[201]
  • Ireland is represented in Tajikistan through its embassy in Moscow (Russia).
Thailand Thailand 27 January 1975[202]
East Timor Timor Leste 31 January 2003[203]
  • Ireland is represented in Timor Leste through its embassy in Singapore (Singapore).
  • Timor Leste has an honorary consulate in Dublin.
  • Timor Leste received EUR3.4 million in aid from Ireland in 2011.[34]
  • Since 2003 Timor Leste is one of 9 priority countries receiving Irish Aid assistance.[204]
Turkey Turkey 1972[205] See Ireland-Turkey relations
Turkmenistan Turkmenistan 16 October 2007[207]
  • Ireland is represented in Turkmenistan through its embassy in Moscow (Russia).
United Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates 1974[208]
Uzbekistan Uzbekistan 7 November 1997[210]
  • Ireland is represented in Uzbekistan through its embassy in Moscow (Russia).
  • Uzbekistan is represented in Ireland through its embassy in London (United Kingdom).
Vietnam Vietnam 5 April 1996[211]
Yemen Yemen 25 July 2000[214]

Europe

Ireland is consistently the most pro-European of EU member states, with 77% of the population approving of EU membership according to a Eurobarometer poll in 2006.[215] Ireland was a founding member of the euro single currency. In May 2004, Ireland was one of only three countries to open its borders to workers from the 10 new member states. EU issues important to Ireland include the Common Agricultural Policy, corporation tax harmonisation and the EU Constitution. The Irish electorate declined to ratify the Treaty of Lisbon in 2008. A second referendum in October 2009 passed the bill, allowing the treaty to be ratified. Before it was ratified Ireland required legal guarantees on issues such as the right of Ireland to remain militarily neutral (and not engage in any kind of "European army"), the right of the state to maintain its low levels of corporation tax and that the treaty would not change the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland making abortion illegal (since deleted). Ireland has held the Presidency of the Council of the European Union on seven occasions (in 1975, 1979, 1984, 1990, 1996, 2004 and 2013).

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
Albania Albania January 1995[216]
Andorra Andorra 18 January 1995[219]
  • Although Ireland is accredited to Andorra from its embassy in Madrid, (Spain) all consular queries are with regard to Andorra are dealt with through Ireland's consulate-general in Barcelona.[220]
  • Andorra does not have an accreditation to Ireland.[221]
  • Both countries are full members of the Council of Europe.
Austria Austria 1951[]
Belarus Belarus 27 March 1992[225]
Belgium Belgium
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina 27 September 1995[230]
Bulgaria Bulgaria 11 January 1990[231]
Croatia Croatia 27 January 1995[234] See Croatia-Ireland relations
Cyprus Cyprus 1985[235] See Cyprus-Ireland relations
Czech Republic Czech Republic 1 January 1993[238]
Denmark Denmark January 1962[241] See Denmark-Ireland relations
Estonia Estonia 10 September 1991[242]
Finland Finland 2 November 1961[243]
France France 1929[246] See France-Ireland relations
Germany Germany 27 October 1929[249] See Germany-Ireland relations
Greece Greece 22 January 1975[252] See Greece-Ireland relations
Guernsey Guernsey
  • Ireland has signed several tax treaties with the Guernsey.[254] The treaties provide a mechanism for inter-governmental sharing of information about offshore assets, and avoidance of dual-taxation.[255]
Holy See Holy See 27 November 1929[256] See Holy See-Ireland relations
  • Ireland has an embassy in Rome to the Holy See.
  • The Holy See has an apostolic nunciature in Dublin.
  • In November 2011 Ireland closed its embassy in the Vatican over the Irish Church's handling of sex abuse cases and accusations that the Vatican had encouraged secrecy and obstructed investigations into these matters.[257] The embassy was reopened in January 2014, a sign of thawing relations between the two jurisdictions.[258]
  • The majority of Irish people are Roman Catholic.
Hungary Hungary 1 October 1976[259]
Iceland Iceland 3 July 1951[262] See Iceland-Ireland relations
Italy Italy 1922
Jersey Jersey
  • Ireland has signed several tax treaties with Jersey.[254] The treaties provide a mechanism for inter-governmental sharing of information about offshore assets, and avoidance of dual-taxation.[255]
Kosovo Kosovo 11 November 2008[267] See Ireland-Kosovo relations
Latvia Latvia 9 October 1991[271]
Liechtenstein Liechtenstein 1992
Lithuania Lithuania 2 September 1991[274]
Luxembourg Luxembourg 20 December 1961[276]
Malta Malta 13 June 1990[278]
Isle of Man Isle of Man See Ireland-Isle of Man relations
  • Ireland has signed several tax agreements with the Isle of Man.[281] The agreements provide a mechanism for inter-governmental sharing of information about offshore assets, and avoidance of dual-taxation.
  • Ireland and the Isle of Man have collaborated on preparing reports and jointly opposing the Sellafield nuclear plant to the UK government.[282]
Moldova Moldova 13 July 1999[283]
Monaco Monaco 14 December 2006[285]
  • Although Ireland has an honorary consulate in Monaco, Ireland is represented through its embassy in Paris (France).
  • Monaco has an honorary consulate in Dublin.
Montenegro Montenegro 20 June 2006[286]
  • Ireland is represented in Montenegro through its embassy in Budapest (Hungary).
  • Montenegro declared its independence from Serbia on 3 June 2006 and Ireland recognised it on 20 June 2006.
  • Both countries are full members of the Council of Europe.
Netherlands Netherlands 1945[287]
North Macedonia North Macedonia 13 December 1994[289]
Norway Norway 17 February 1950[290]
Poland Poland 30 September 1976[293] See Ireland-Poland relations
Portugal Portugal 1942[296]
Romania Romania 18 April 1990[298] See Ireland-Romania relations
Russia Russia 29 September 1973[301] See Ireland-Russia relations
  • Ireland has an embassy in Moscow. and an honorary consulate in St. Petersburg.[302]
  • Russia has an embassy Dublin and two honorary consulates (Limerick and Thurles, Co. Tipperary).[303]
  • There are 3,896 Russians living in Ireland.[57]
  • The Russian SFSR drafted a treaty which would have made it the first country to recognise the independence of Ireland in 1920, however, the Russian SFSR] failed to ratify it.[304][305]
  • Cooperation between both countries has been more active since the end of the Cold War. Many bilateral treaties exist between both nations in various fields (taxation, investment protection, cultural and scientific, aviation, etc.).
  • Both countries are full members of the Council of Europe.
San Marino San Marino 13 January 1995[306]
  • Ireland is represented in San Marino through its embassy in Rome (Italy).
  • San Marino has an honorary consulate in Limerick.
Serbia Serbia 1977[307]
Slovakia Slovakia 1 January 1993[308]

In 2010 Slovak airport security planted actual explosives in the luggage of unsuspecting passengers as part of a security exercise. As result of additional mistakes, the explosives were flown to Dublin, Ireland causing international controversy.[310] Prime Minister Fico refused to dismiss the interior minister after the incident.

Slovenia Slovenia 25 January 1996[311]
Spain Spain 3 September 1935[314] See Ireland-Spain relations
Sweden Sweden
Switzerland Switzerland 1939[318]
  • Ireland has an embassy in Bern and an honorary consulate in Zurich.
  • Switzerland has an embassy in Dublin.
  • As of 2010 there are 1,449 Swiss people living in Ireland.[319]
  • Both countries are full members of the Council of Europe.
Ukraine Ukraine 1 April 1992[320]
United Kingdom United Kingdom See Above and Ireland-United Kingdom relations

Oceania

  No formal diplomatic relations
Country Formal Relations Began Notes
Australia Australia 1945[324] See Australia-Ireland relations
Federated States of Micronesia Federated States of Micronesia 27 October 2004[326]
Fiji Fiji 19 February 2002[328]
Kiribati Kiribati September 2000[330]
Marshall Islands Marshall Islands N/A Ireland does not maintain diplomatic relations with the Marshall Islands.
Nauru Nauru 21 March 2000[332]
New Zealand New Zealand 1965[334] See Ireland-New Zealand relations
Palau Palau 14 July 2000[338]
Papua New Guinea Papua New Guinea 26 October 2020[340]
  • Ireland is represented in Papua New Guinea through its embassy in Canberra (Australia).
Samoa Samoa 26 June 2000[341]
Solomon Islands Solomon Islands 4 December 2009[342]
  • Ireland is represented in the Solomon Islands through its embassy in Canberra (Australia).
Tonga Tonga 27 July 2021 Ireland and Tonga established diplomatic relations on 27 July 2021.[343]
Tuvalu Tuvalu September 2000[330]
Vanuatu Vanuatu

United Nations

The United Nations was founded in 1945, but Ireland's membership was blocked by the Soviet Union until 1955,[346] "partly because of Dublin's neutrality" during the Second World War.[347] Since 2017, the Irish ambassador to the UN Office at Geneva has been Michael Gaffey.[348] Ireland has been elected to the UN Security Council as a non-permanent member on three occasions -- in 1962, in 1981-1982, in 2001-2002 and most recently in 2021-2022.[349]

Ireland is a member state of the International Criminal Court, having signed the Rome Statute in 1998 and ratified it in 2002.[350]

Irish Aid, the Government of Ireland's programme of assistance to developing countries financed the redesign of the UNV Online Volunteering service website in 2008 and supported its operations from 2007 to 2010, which led to a significant growth in the number of online volunteers and the tasks they completed.[351]

In 2017, Ireland signed the UN treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.[352]

Peacekeeping missions

Ireland has a long history of participation in UN peacekeeping efforts starting in 1958, just three years after joining the UN. As of August 2018, 90 members of the Irish Defence Forces had been killed on peacekeeping missions.[353]

List of major peacekeeping operations:[354]

As well as these missions, Irish personnel have served as observers in Central America, Russia, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Namibia, Western Sahara, Kuwait and South Africa.[355]

Ireland and the Commonwealth of Nations

Ireland was a member state of the British Commonwealth from 1922 until 1949, initially as a Dominion called the Irish Free State from 1922 until 1937, when Ireland adopted a new constitution and changed the name of the state to "Ireland". Although the king was removed from the Constitution in 1936, a republic was only formally declared from 18 April 1949. Under the rules for membership at the time, a republic could not be a member state of the Commonwealth. This was changed a week later with the adoption of the London Declaration.

Since 1998, some people in Ireland have advocated joining the Commonwealth of Nations, most notably Éamon Ó Cuív, Frank Feighan, and Mary Kenny.[356][357]

International organisations

Ireland is a member of or otherwise participates in the following international organisations:[358]

Foreign aid

Ireland's aid program was founded in 1974, and in 2017 its budget amounted to EUR651 million.[359] The government had previously set a target of reaching the Millennium Development Goal of 0.7% of Gross National Product in aid by 2012, which was not met as aid was reduced as a result of the Irish financial crisis.[360] Irish development aid is concentrated on eight priority countries: Lesotho, Mozambique, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Zambia, Uganda, Vietnam and East Timor.[361] In 2006, Malawi was announced as the ninth priority country, with a tenth country to follow.[362]

Human rights

There have been no serious civil, human or social rights abuses/problems in the State, according to Amnesty International and the U.S. State Department.[363][364] The country consistently comes among the top nations in terms of freedom and rights ratings.

Index Ranking (Most Recent) Result
Freedom in the World - Political Rights 1st (Joint) 1 ("Free")
Freedom in the World - Civil Liberties 1st (Joint) 1 ("Free")
Index of Economic Freedom 9th 76.9 ("Mostly Free")
Worldwide Press Freedom Index Ranking 15th -4.00 ("Free")
Global Peace Index 6th (Joint) 1.33 ("More Peaceful")
Democracy Index 12th 8.79 ("Full Democracy")
International Property Rights Index 13th (Joint) 7.9
Corruption Perceptions Index 16th (Joint) 7.7
Fragile States Index 170th (7th from the bottom) 26.5 ("Sustainable")

See also

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External links

  • Department of Foreign Affairs official site
    • Irish Treaty Series "All treaties published in the Irish Treaty Series since 2002 are available in pdf format on this site. A limited number of selected treaties published in earlier years is also available"

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