1,500 Irish sought consular assistance abroad in 2012

1,500 Irish people living or traveling abroad contacted their local Irish consular posts in 2012 for reasons including deaths, arrests and accidents, records from the Department of Foreign Affairs rev

1,500 Irish people living or traveling abroad contacted their local Irish consular posts in 2012 for reasons including deaths, arrests and accidents, records from the Department of Foreign Affairs reveal.

Of the nearly 1,500 cases of Irish people abroad seeking consular assistance, the most came from Spain, followed by Australia, the U.S. and Britain.

Irish consular posts helped citizens deal with 194 deaths and 290 arrests. The European Championships held in Poland and the Ukraine in June resulted in more than 180 Irish citizens reaching out for assistance, while several hundred more Irish were given advice.

Irish Foreign Minister Eamon Gilmore offered sympathy for those who suffered a family death abroad, and urged the Irish to travel with caution.

“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.”

Irish citizens have the option of registering online with the Department of Foreign Affairs before traveling, which would ensure that relevant contact details are in place.

The department said it is continuing to monitor ongoing tensions in the Middle East, particularly in Syria, Israel, Gaza and the West Bank.

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