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The Embassy’s History

Find out about the Embassy's history, including the establishment of diplomatic relations and some of our former Ambassadors.

Diplomatic relations between Ireland and the Czech Republic

Ireland and Czechoslovakia did not have diplomatic relations prior to World War II. In 1929, the Czechoslovak Consulate was established in Dublin. It continued its operation until January 1947 when Czechoslovak State Secretary Vladimir Clementis informed the Irish Government of the intention to establish a Czechoslovak Embassy in Dublin. Receipt of this letter by the Irish Government marked the opening of Czechoslovak-Irish diplomatic relations.

In April 1950, the then-Czechoslovak government decided to terminate operation of the Embassy. It was not until December 1975, that representatives from both countries signed a joint agreement on setting up Embassies, with a clause stating that neither side would establish a diplomatic representation until 1979. During the 1970s, the Czechoslovak Trade Mission was established in Dublin and this was transformed into the Embassy in 1995. Until 1995, diplomatic relations were carried out through Czech and Irish Ambassadors resident in third countries (United Kingdom and Austria).

Diplomatic relations between the Czech Republic and Ireland were officially established on 1 January, 1993. The Embassy of Ireland commenced its activities in Prague in 1995.

History of Wratislaw Palace, Tržiště 13

The Irish Embassy has been located in the Wratislaw Palace, Lesser Town, since 1995. The first written evidence of development at this location originates from 1591, when two town houses were built on the present site. Wratislaw Palace is a combination of those houses bought in 1671 by Franz Christoph Wratislaw von Mittrowitz, who had them rebuilt into the palace and created the beautiful palace garden a few years later. The palace was rebuilt in classicist style in 1824-1834 and received a new facade which still exists today. However, the owners did not use the palace. It was a secondary school (Malostranské gymnázium) between 1861-1876 and underwent extensive reconstruction in the 1990s.

Irish Ambassadors to the Czech Republic

Marie Cross September 1995 July 1999
Michael Collins August 1999 July 2001
Joe Hayes October 2001 August 2005
Donal Hamill September 2005 October 2009
Richard Ryan December 2009 November 2011
Alison Kelly February 2012 August 2015
Charles Sheehan August 2015 to date