The Irish department of foreign affairs has revealed that they still have not collected data on the number of lost, stolen or misplaced Irish passports abroad.

Last January forged Irish passports were used in the assassination of Mahmoud Al Mabhouh in Dubai last January. Following this incident an Israeli Embassy official as dismissed.

The failure of the department to gather any information on the numbers of lost or stolen Irish passports was called "extremely surprising" by Billy Timmins, Fine Gael TD.

"You would think that in this day of modern technology and information sharing that the department could liaise with other governmental forces to get the figures," said Timmins speaking to the Irish Tribune. "I have raised this issue before with the minister and I will be raising it again."

Since 2009 81,000 passports have been issued to Irish citizens living abroad. In the past this figure was criticized as being worryingly high.