Figures released by the Department of Foreign Affairs show that cases of crime, illness and accidents suffered by Irish people jumped by a fifth in the firsr half of 2010.

Irish embassies, missions overseas and the Department of Foreign affairs have dealt with 660 cases since January 2010. This is compared to 540 in the same period of 2009. That is a jump of 22 percent.

The number of people who died in incidents abroad was down to 97 from 119. Causes of death ranged from plane crashes in Libya and Central America, to road crashes and illness.

Surprisingly these figures also exclude the calls taken around the eruption of the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajokull.

According to Foreign Affairs Minister Micheál Martin the staff in the department took 4,000 calls a week from people being affected by the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajokull.

He said “Following on a very busy year in 2009, officials of my Department are again dealing with a large number of cases where our people do find themselves dealing with emergencies often with language barriers, local legal difficulties and officialdom with which they are unfamiliar.”

“In addition to the increase in cases, this year also saw my Department in the frontline in dealing with the fall out of the Icelandic ash cloud.”

Mr Martin warned travelers to take precautions while travelling to take care and always invest in travel insurance.