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Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Consular Figures for 2013

Consular, Travel, Press Releases, Ireland, 2013

 

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade provided assistance to more than 1,500 Irish nationals abroad in 2013. This represents an increase of 6.5 percent on 2012, continuing the upward trend of recent years.

The largest number of consular cases occurred in Spain, followed by Australia, USA, Britain, Canada, France, Thailand, Portugal, UAE, and the Philippines.

The Department registered more than 5,000 people for Irish citizenship through Foreign Births Registration, a figure that will likely rise to 8,000 once all applications are processed.

The Department also provided more than 3,000 letters of freedom to Irish citizens getting married or entering civil partnerships abroad, an increase of 12 percent compared to 2012. The most popular countries were Italy, Spain, Germany, Malta and Scotland. People can now apply on line for this service at www.dfa.ie.

Department staff authenticated in excess of 55,000 Irish documents such as educational certificates, legal documents and company documents, an increase of 10 percent, many of which were required in order to secure employment or for property and commercial transactions.

Commenting on the figures, Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore, T.D., said:

“The staff of our offices around the world and the Consular Division of the Department, are available and active 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to help Irish people and their families who get into difficulty abroad. I would encourage Irish citizens intending to travel to obtain travel insurance, keep your passport up to date, take note of the nearest Irish Embassy and register online so that we can contact you in the event of a crisis or emergency.”

The Tánaiste emphasised the importance of registering with the Department before travelling overseas, drawing particular attention to how valuable this information can be when responding to large-scale crises or natural disasters:

“Being able to contact Irish people in an affected areas is vital, helping us to give immediate assistance. I would also urge Irish citizens to check for country-specific travel advice, and to read the guide to travelling safely abroad, both of which are available on my Department’s website.

“Irish diplomats can provide support and assistance to citizens and their families, issue emergency travel documentation, and help liaise with local authorities, especially if there is a language barrier.”

The travel advice service on the Department’s website was continuously updated over the course of 2013 and embassies maintained contact with Irish citizens in cases, including the Boston bombings in April and Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. Consular officers in Vienna, Cologne, and Warsaw provided assistance to Irish citizens attending international football matches.

ENDS

Press Office

31 December 2013

 

Note to Editors