The cultural contacts between Estonia and Ireland are lively. In 1988, an extraordinary cultural exchange project took place, when 20 folk musicians from Ireland visited the ESSR for the first time, and a few months later, well-known Estonian cultural figures and musicians travelled to Ireland. Among them were theatre producer Priit Pedajas, writer and poet Jaan Kaplinski, the folk group Kukerpillid, the Johanson family of notable musicians, and many others. The documentary A Tale of Two Visits tells the story of the meetings between the Estonians and the Irish in 1988.
The University of Tartu has good cooperation with the oldest university in Ireland – the Trinity College. The EU Erasmus program helps to maintain tight relations between the universities.
Over the years, several Estonian classical music choirs have participated in Choral Festivals in Ireland. The world famous Estonian conductors like Eri Klas, Paul Mägi, Tõnu Kaljuste, Kristjan Järvi, and Mihhail Gerts have worked with Irish orchestras. On the occasion of the 100th Anniversary of the Republic of Estonia in January 2018 the Estonian National Philharmonic Chamber Choir performed at the National Concert Hall in Dublin. The choir will return to Dublin on 16 November 2022. Ensemble Vox Clamantis, Eller Girls’ Choir and Early Music Group of Kiili performed in Ireland in 2022.
In recent years, Estonian films have found their way to the Irish audience. Several Estonian films have screened at Dublin, Cork and Galway film festivals. In February 2019, Moonika Siimets’ “The little comrade” was screened at the Dublin Film Festival.
Many well-known works by Irish writers have been translated into Estonian, including Oscar Wilde, James Joyce, Maeve Binchy, John Banville, and others. A number of renowned authors have visited Estonia (John Banville, Jennifer Johnston, Ciaran Carson, Paul Muldoon, Louise O’Neill).
In recent years, Doris Kareva has translated poems by Irish women poets published in the anthology “Rogha Danta”. Kristiina Ehin’s poetry “The Ultimate Going of Lume” and “Poems: Burning Darkness” and Andres Ehin’s “Haiku” have been translated into Irish.
Numerous plays by Irish playwrights or authors of Irish origin (Brian Friel, Martin McDonagh, Marina Carr) have been produced in Estonia.