THE DEPARTMENT OF Foreign Affairs has issued a travel advisory, saying that Irish citizens should avoid all non-essential travel to the country as public demonstrations continue there.
Troops from neighbouring countries have been invited into the Middle Eastern state by its government amid rising public tensions, marking the first time that cross-border assistance has been offered since protests in the Arab world began three months ago.
This morning, as the tensions showed no signs of abating, the Irish government said it advised against any non-essential travel – and appealed to Irish people in Bahrain, or those travelling there, to register their details with the Department of Foreign Affairs on its website.
Irish nationals in Bahrain can also register with the Irish embassy in Saudi Arabia, based in Riyadh, which is the nearest Irish diplomatic mission to the state.
A Department spokeswoman said it believed there were up to 300 Irish people in Bahrain at present.
Separately, a spokesperson said that the Department had been able to make contact with a number of Irish people who had been trapped in the Japanese city of Sendai, the capital of the Miyagi prefecture most damaged by the tsunamis following Friday’s magnitude-9 earthquake.
Ireland’s ambassador to Japan, John Neary, had travelled to the city from the embassy in Tokyo yesterday and had met the Irish citizens present in the city.
As a result of the visit, the Department had been assured that the “small group of people” still in the city – which is still being hit by continual aftershocks – were safe and well.