EAMON GILMORE HAS released figures for the past 12 months, showing that almost 1,500 Irish citizens abroad received consular assistance during 2012.
The figure is on the same, increased scale as seen over the past three years. Help was provided in the case of 194 deaths and 290 arrests, as well as other accidents, child abductions and hospitalisations.
The Tánaiste commended the staff working in Irish embassies and consulates across the globe and expressed his personal condolences to those families that suffered bereavements of loved ones abroad.
He also urged travellers to register online with his department before going overseas. “The advantage of registering is that if there is a major crisis abroad, the department has a record of all your details, and can contact you or your family at an early stage,” he explained.
The greatest number of emergencies occurred in Spain and Australia this year. There were also multiple incidents in the US, the UK, Turkey, Thailand, Canada, UAE and elsewhere in Europe.
Consular assistance was provided to the families of 194 people who died while abroad this year, a number in very tragic circumstances.
In May, two countries were shocked when twenty-one year old student Nicola Furlong was found murdered in a Tokyo hotel room. Another vicious assault saw Dublin backpacker David Green die in Melbourne, Australia in September.
The Mayo town of Swinford rallied in May to ensure the remains of one of its own, 23-year-old Gary Price, were returned to Ireland after he died while trying to cross the swollen Nam Song River in Laos.
The Irish ambassador in Mauritius was also involved in the high-profile case of Michaela McAreavey, raising concerns over the investigation into her murder and the recent trial.
During the Euro 2012 Finals the department opened dedicated consular offices in Gdansk and Poznan and provided 24-hour cover for fans travelling to the tournament. These provided comprehensive consular support to over 180 individual consular cases, including to the family of James Nolan, who died in tragic circumstances. The search for his body continued for days.