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Croatian & Irish Relations

The Embassy plays an important role in fostering the excellent relationship between Croatia and Ireland.

A longstanding historical connection

Links between Croatia and Ireland stretch back to Laval Nugent (3 November, 1777 - 21 August, 1862). He was a soldier of Irish birth (Co. Westmeath) who fought in the Austrian Army, rising to the rank of Field Marshall. During the Napoleonic Wars he liberated Dalmatia from French occupation. In 1837, he refurbished the Dubovac Castle near Karlovac. He was an avid art collector. His extensive collection of Greek and Roman antiquities can be seen today in the Archaeological Museum of Zagreb. In the upper-town of Zagreb, there is a Laval Nugent art gallery.

In October 1904 the 22 year-old James Joyce eloped from Ireland to mainland Europe with his girlfriend (and future wife) Nora Barnacle. He sought work with the Berlitz English-language schools in Zürich and Trieste, but instead found himself in Pula in Croatia. He spent six months in Pula - a productive time in which he wrote much of what subsequently became Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. The school where he taught is now the café-bar Uliks ("Ulysses" in Croatian), the terrace of which boasts a life-size bronze sculpture of the writer. Bloomsday (16 June) is marked in Pula annually.

Modern day relations

The Irish and Croatian Governments work closely together on many issues, particularly in the context of the European Union. Trade and economic are growing in particular following Croatia's accession to the EU in 2013.

There is a growing Croatian diaspora in Ireland.