Number of Irish citizens dying abroad rises by 21% in 2017

More than 2,500 Irish needed help, some caught up in terrorist attacks and natural disasters

The Department of Foreign Affairs provided support to Irish people caught up in terrorist attacks in Barcelona (above), Manchester, London and St Petersburg, the earthquake in Mexico City and Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean. Photograph: Andreu Dalmau/EPA

The Department of Foreign Affairs provided support to Irish people caught up in terrorist attacks in Barcelona (above), Manchester, London and St Petersburg, the earthquake in Mexico City and Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean. Photograph: Andreu Dalmau/EPA

 

The Department of Foreign Affairs provided support to over 2,500 Irish citizens who got into difficulties abroad during the year, according to figures released on Wednesday.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said the figures showed a 21 per cent increase in the number of cases of deaths abroad, a 13 per cent increase in the number of Irish citizens detained, and a 17 per cent increase in the number of cases involving persons with mental health issues.

“Statistics show more Irish people are travelling overseas than ever before, and this presents fresh challenges for my department and our embassy network in ensuring we continue to provide a world-class service for our people across the globe,’’ Mr Coveney said.

More than 300 families needed help following the deaths of loved ones abroad, the highest number the department has dealt with in a single year.

Others involved embassies and consulates assisting in situations involving missing persons, arrests, imprisonments, illness and injury.

Support was provided for Irish people caught up in overseas terrorist attacks in Manchester, Barcelona, London and St Petersburg, as well as natural disasters such as the earthquake in Mexico City and Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean.

Mr Coveney urged people to be vigilant, and cautious about their personal safety, when travelling abroad, given the increase in global terrorism and climate-related threats.

He said people should consult the department’s travel advice in advance of their trip and be mindful of their surroundings while travelling.