About Us Brief of India-Ireland Bilateral Relations

Embassy of India

 Brief of India-Ireland Bilateral Relations

India-Ireland interactions go back to the nineteenth century, when a significant number of Irishmen joined the British Civil Service, colonial medical and engineering services and colonial army regiments in India. During this period, Irish missionaries and educationists also spread out into all regions of India. These links were further strengthened by the connections between the nationalist movements of the two countries since the early years of the 20th century. Leaders of freedom movements of both countries inspired each other. The Prime Minister of India made an official visit to Ireland on September 23, 2015 and met former Prime Minister (Taoiseach) Enda Kenny. The Prime Minister also met the Indian Community in Ireland at a Community Event organised by the Embassy. PM Narendra Modi spoke to the Irish PM, Leo Varadkar on 16 June 2017 and congratulated him on his election. 

Formal diplomatic links between India and Ireland were established in 1947. India opened an Embassy in Dublin in 1951. The Irish Embassy in New Delhi was set up in 1964 and the Honorary Consulates in Mumbai and Bengaluru in 1976 and 2000 respectively. New Honorary Consulates have been established in Chennai and Kolkata in 2010. In 2017 Irish Government announced opening of a regular Consulate in Mumbai and permission has been accorded for the same.

The people to people relations between the two countries were further strengthened after the crash of an Air India aircraft – Kanishka – off the southwestern coast of Ireland on June 23, 1985 in a terrorist bombing. The extraordinary level of solidarity, support and assistance extended by the local population to the victims’ families created a unique bond. A commemorative stone plaque was installed at the village of Ahakista which lies near the site of the crash and annual commemoration ceremony is organized by locals there. Minister of State for External Affairs, Dr.(Gen) V.K. Singh (Retd) attended the 30th anniversary of the crash held at Ahakista on June 23, 2015.

Since 2005, an Irish Minister has visited India on St. Patrick’s Day, the last such visit was that of Minister of State for Training, Skills and Innovation, John Halligan in February 2017, Minister of State for Employment and Small Business, Mr. Pat Breen led a Trade delegation to India on 20 November 2016.  And Minister for Public Expenditure Reforms, Mr. Brendan Howlin in March 2016.  Other visits during 2013-15 included visits of Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr. James Reilly in March 2015, Minister for Children Ms. Frances Fitzgerald (St Patrick’s Day) in March 2013, Minister of State for European Affairs, Mr. Paschal Donohoe to participate in the ASEM Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in New Delhi in November 2013, Minister of State in the Department of Education and Skills, Research and Innovation, Mr. Damien English in November 2014 and Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mr. Richard Bruton in November 2013 and April 2014.

Major agreements signed between the two countries include (i) Agreement on Air Transport signed in February 1991; (ii) Agreement on Foreign Office Consultations signed in October 1993; (iii) MOU on Joint Working Group on Information Technology signed in April 2000; (iv) Agreement on Avoidance of Double Taxation signed in November 2000; (v) Agreement on Cooperation in Culture; (vi) Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation and (vii) Agreement on Cooperation between Science Foundation Ireland(SFI) and Indian National Science Academy signed in 2006.

    •       Arrangement between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of  Ireland on authorization for dependents of Diplomatic, Consular, Technical and  Administrative Staff of Diplomatic and Consular Missions to engage in Gainful Employment was signed on 21 March 2018.

The Foreign Office Consultations were held in New Delhi in November 2017.    Bilateral trade between India and Ireland in 2017-18 touched US $ 1.33 billion, India’s exports to Ireland was US$ 795.01 million and India’s Imports from Ireland was US$ 536.08 million. The balance of trade is in favor of India. Main Items imported from India were Machinery and mechanical appliances, telecommunications equipment, computer accessories, precision equipment and pharmaceuticals. Main items exported from India were Organic chemicals, textiles, garments & clothing accessories, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, machinery, light engineering goods, plastics and rubber.

Major Indian companies which have presence in Ireland include Pinewood/Wockhardt, Reliance Genemedix, Crompton Greaves, Deepak Fasteners, Jain Irrigation Systems, Wipro, TCS, Infosys and HCL.

Major Irish companies which have presence in India are CRH Taxback Group; Connolly Red Mills, Globoforce, ICON, Kerry Group, Diageo, Glanbia.

Of late, Ireland is becoming a significant destination for Indian students seeking higher education, particularly post-graduate, doctoral and post-doctoral students in the areas of engineering, technology, medicine, and management. There are over 2500 Indian students in Irish higher educational institutions. 

There is an ICCR Chair on politics and international relations in the Dublin City University. Premier institutions of both countries have been cooperating with each other in the field of science and technology.

    •       MoU between Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and Dublin City University     (DCU) on the establishment of the ICCR Chair on Politics and International Affairs at   DCU was renewed on 4 October 2017 for another four Academic years.

About 36440 Irish tourists visit India every year. Likewise, Ireland has also become major tourist attraction for Indian tourists particularly after the introduction of common British Irish visa scheme. Electronic Tourist Visa facility was extended to Ireland w.e.f. 15 August 2015.

An ICCR-sponsored choir group, Nagaland Singing Ambassadors visited Ireland in November 2014 and another ICCR-sponsored 4-member musical group, Madras String quartet visited Dublin in July 2015.

The 1st International Day of Yoga was celebrated on 21st June at St. Anne’s Park, Clontarf, Dublin by the Embassy in collaboration with local Yoga institutes and the Indian community. The 2nd International Day of Yoga was celebrated at áras an Uachtaráin in the presence of Irish President and First Lady.  Another celebration was organised at Dartmouth Square Park, Dublin and the third event was held at Wexford, Ireland.  The 3rd International Day of Yoga (IDY) was celebrated in Dublin on 17 June 2017 in collaboration with the Dublin City Council with enthusiastic participation from people of different walks of life, yoga instructors and yoga practitioners at the Dartmouth Square Park in Dublin. In addition to this, two more events were organized on 21 June to mark the 3rd International Day of Yoga. One was organized by Spiritual Earth in collaboration with Rejuvenate Ireland and Wexford Chamber at Wexford and second event was organized at the prestigious Dublin City Hall. The Deputy Lord Mayor of Dublin was the Chief Guest. 4th IYD  was celebrated in Dublin on 16 June 2018 in collaboration with the Dublin City Council and local Yoga associations – Happenings and Yoga Therapy Ireland in Herbert Park.   For the first time the IDY was also celebrated along with Summer Solstice at the Iconic site of Hill of Tara, which was the seat of ancient Irish High Kings on 21 June 2018.

There is approximately 34,000 Indian origin population in Ireland, of whom approx. 20,500 are PIOs and approx. 13,500 are NRIs. The bulk of the community is in healthcare, IT, engineering and senior management positions.    The community is well-regarded locally and has integrated well into Irish society.

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September 2018