Reflecting on the complexity and volume of consular cases dealt with by his Department in 2017, the
figures show a 21% increase in the number of cases of deaths abroad; a 13% increase in the number of Irish citizens detained abroad; and a 17% increase in the number of complex assistance cases involving persons with mental health issues.
In addition to the large and growing number of individual personal emergencies, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade also provided support during 2017 to Irish people caught up in a number of major incidents overseas including the terrorist attacks in Manchester, Barcelona, London and St. Petersburg as well as natural disasters such as the earthquake in Mexico City and Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean.
Referring to the increased global terrorism and climate-related threats, the Tánaiste reminded people to be vigilant and cautious in relation to their personal safety whilst travelling overseas:
“Given the increased number of major incidents aboard, I would strongly recommend that all citizens consult my Department’s Travel Advice in advance of their trip and to be mindful of their surroundings while they are travelling. The travel advice, which is constantly updated, is available from my Department’s website – www.dfa.ie - and people should also follow our dedicated Travel Advice social media account @DFATravelwise. A growing number of people are using my Department’s
“If any citizen finds themselves in an emergency situation abroad, they should follow the advice of local authorities and contact the nearest Irish Embassy or Consulate should they require any assistance.”
The Tánaiste also emphasised the importance of preparing for travel and taking out comprehensive Travel Insurance:
Tánaiste Coveney concluded by paying a special word of tribute to Ireland’s network of Honorary Consulates around the world: