1,500 Irish abroad sought assistance

 

Almost 1,500 Irish citizens overseas sought consular assistance from the Department of Foreign Affairs this year, figures released today show.

Support was provided in the case of 194 deaths and 290 arrests, as well as hospitalisations, accidents, and several child abductions.

While assistance was given to Irish citizens in almost every country in the world, the highest number of emergencies occurred in Spain, followed by Australia, the US, Britain, Turkey, Thailand, Canada, UAE, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Greece, Poland and Portugal.

More than 180 cases were dealt with by dedicated consular offices in Gdansk and Poznan during the Euro 2012 Finals, and several hundred fans were given advice during the tournament.

A statement issued from the Department of Foreign Affairs today said they are continuing to monitor the situation in the Middle East closely, and have maintained contact with Irish citizens in Syria, Israel and the Occupied Territories through the Irish embassies in Cairo and Tel Aviv.

Commenting on the figures, Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore expressed his condolences to those whose family members died abroad, and commended the staff of Irish embassies and consulates for the support they provide to Irish nationals who get into difficulty overseas.

He urged travellers to obtain appropriate medical and travel insurance to avoid the burden placed on families in the event of an accident or medical emergency.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

He also recommended that Irish people register online with the Department before travelling, so next-of-kin details are on file in case of an emergency.

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