The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade provided consular assistance to nearly 1,500 Irish citizens overseas in 2012. The figure matches the increased levels of assistance recorded in the past three years.
The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore TD, said: “If you are planning to travel abroad in the year ahead, either on holiday or to work, you should plan in advance and always keep your safety in mind. You should ensure that you have travel insurance, that your passport is up-to-date, and take note of the contact details of the relevant Irish Embassy for the country where you are visiting.
“In particular, I urge Irish citizens to register online with the Department before travelling overseas whether on holidays, on business or resident abroad. The advantage of registering is that if there is a major crisis abroad, the Department has a record of your details, and can contact you or your family at an early stage in a crisis.”
In 2012 the Department assisted nearly 1,500 Irish citizens following serious consular emergencies, including deaths, arrests, accidents, child abductions and hospitalisations. While Consular assistance was provided to Irish citizens in virtually every country in the world, by far the highest number of consular emergencies occurred in Spain, followed by Australia, the USA, France, Britain, Turkey, Thailand, Canada, the UAE, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Greece, Poland and Portugal.
In particular, the Department and Irish Embassies provided consular assistance to the families of 194 people who sadly died while abroad, a number of these in very tragic circumstances.