Iceland–Ireland relations

Iceland–Ireland relations



Iceland–Ireland relations refers to the diplomatic relations between the Republic of Iceland and the Republic of Ireland. Both nations are members of the European Economic Area, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the United Nations.


Connections between Iceland and Ireland began circa 700s or 800s when Irish monks first explored Iceland as mentioned in the books by Irish monk and geographer Dicuil.[1] When Norse explorers arrived to Iceland, many encountered the Irish monks on the island who they called "Papar" (father) for the religious books they would leave behind on the island.[2] When Norse settlers arrived, many of the Irish monks left Iceland because they would not inhabit a country of "pagans".[2] During the following centuries, more Norse explorers would come to Iceland and bring with them Irish women and slaves to Iceland producing Icelands current genetic make-up among its population.[3]

During World War II both Iceland (under the Kingdom of Denmark) and Ireland remained neutral. Iceland obtained its independence in June 1944. On 11 March 1948, both Iceland and Ireland established diplomatic relations.[4] In 1960, Iceland joined the European Free Trade Association while Ireland joined the European Union in 1973. In 2003, both nations signed a double taxation agreement.[5] After the 2008 banking crisis that affected heavily the two nations,[6] Iceland began the formal application process to join the EU, however, Ireland raised concerns over Iceland's over fishing of the mackerel which Ireland stated that Iceland fished more than its share of the fish.[7] In 2013, Iceland pulled its application for joining the EU wishing to remain outside the union.[8]

Both nations are served with direct flights provided by Aer Lingus, Icelandair and WOW air.

State visits

Stamp commemorating Irish monks arriving to Iceland

Presidential and Prime Ministerial visits from Iceland to Ireland[9][10]

Presidential and Prime Ministerial (Taoiseach) visits from Ireland to Iceland[11]


Both Iceland and Ireland trade under the European Single Market with Iceland belonging to the European Free Trade Association and Ireland being a full member of the European Union. In 2015, total trade between Iceland the European Union (which includes Ireland) totaled €5.7 billion.[12]

Diplomatic missions

See also


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