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Almost 1,650 Irish citizens assisted abroad by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in 2014

Consular, Minister Charles Flanagan, Press Releases, Ireland, 2014

 

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade provided assistance and services to thousands of Irish citizens and companies in 2014.

 

Irish diplomats in our embassies and consulates abroad assisted almost 1,650 Irish citizens following serious consular emergencies, including deaths, arrests, accidents, child abductions and hospitalisations. The Department provided consular assistance to the families of 217 people who died while abroad.

Releasing the 2014 consular statistics today in Dublin, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, TD, said:

“Providing consular assistance and other consular services to Irish citizens at home and abroad is at the heart of what we do in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Our staff are deeply committed to assisting Irish citizens in difficulty and to helping Irish families at home dealing with distressing situations abroad.

“Ireland’s diplomats stand ready to respond quickly and effectively to urgent cases and emergency situations worldwide.”

While consular assistance was provided to Irish citizens across the world, the highest number of cases occurred in Spain, followed by Australia, USA, Canada, Britain, France, Thailand, UAE and Portugal.

The Minister highlighted the importance of Irish holidaymakers being prepared:

“Having something go wrong on holidays can be stressful enough, without finding yourself unprepared and unable to pay for medical bills or other additional costs that may arise as a result. By taking out suitable travel insurance before travelling, our citizens can ensure they are in the best position possible to help themselves in the unfortunate situation that something does go wrong abroad.”

Services provided by the Department included the authentication of in excess of 60,000 Irish documents such as educational certificates, legal documents and company documents.

Minister Flanagan noted the importance of this work in facilitating business:

“Many of these authentications were required by customers in order to secure business and commercial transactions abroad. As part of our ongoing commitment to facilitating and supporting Irish business, the Department continues to offer a same day service for the majority of authentication requests.”

The Department registered more than 5,500 people for Irish citizenship through Foreign Births Registration. The majority of these applications are received through the Embassies and Consulates in the United States, Britain, Australia, Canada and South Africa, reflecting the large Irish communities living in these areas. This is an increase of 10% on the 2013 figure.

During 2014, the Department also issued more than 3,000 Certificat de Coutume (civil letters of freedom) to Irish citizens getting married or entering civil partnerships abroad, with the most popular countries for the ceremonies abroad being Italy, Spain, Malta, France and Germany. 50 applications were received from Irish citizens entering into a same sex civil partnership abroad.

 

ENDS

Press Office

4 January 2015

 

Notes for editors: