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Department of Foreign Affairs hosts 2022 Consular Forum

Today, 12 October, the Department of Foreign Affairs hosts the 2022 Consular Forum in Iveagh House. The Forum gathers important stakeholders from across partner organisations, who are essential in enabling the Department to provide high quality travel advice and consular assistance and support to Irish citizens.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney T.D. said:

“One of the main priorities of the Department of Foreign Affairs is to provide effective travel advice and consular assistance to Irish citizens. In 2021, for example, we dealt with 1,200 new consular cases, in addition to the many ongoing cases - relating to a variety of situations, including arrest, imprisonment, missing persons, serious injury, mental health difficulty and death.

The Consular Forum is an excellent opportunity to meet with our key consular partners, and to discuss the major and emerging trends affecting our work, particularly as international travel has opened up. Through sharing knowledge and best practices we can better meet our shared objectives and deliver the highest standard of service to our citizens.”

This year’s Consular Forum, hosted by Minster of State for the Diaspora Colm Brophy T.D., is the first to take place since 2019, before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The intervening period, and the response to the pandemic, has further underlined the importance of collaboration in consular work, both domestically and internationally.

The overarching theme of the Forum is ‘Travelling and Living Overseas in Times of Change.’ This theme reflects the high numbers of Irish citizens once again travelling and working abroad, and the implications for consular work, as well as the work of the Department of Foreign Affairs’ key stakeholders.

Opening the 2022 Consular Forum today, Minster Brophy said:

“The Department of Foreign Affairs, with our partners’ support, has been to the forefront in providing travel advice and assisting our citizens overseas throughout the pandemic. I want to pay tribute to the contribution of each and every organisation, and to the staff of the Department of Foreign Affairs and our headquarters and throughout our overseas network of Embassies and Consulates to supporting Irish citizens in travelling and living overseas. The work is not always easy, but it is important.”



Press Office

12 October 2022


Notes to Editors:

In 2021, the Department of Foreign Affairs provided consular assistance to over 1,200 citizens abroad. Over the last year, the Department also responded to numerous consular crises including the COVID-19 pandemic, various travel bans, and the crises in Afghanistan and Ukraine. The International Travel Helpline fielded almost 44,000 calls in 2021 and responded to a significant number of email queries from citizens.

The Consular Forum features two panels:

Panel 1: Trends in International Travel

Moderated by Deirdre Ní Fhallúin, Consular Director

Panellists: Cathy Burke, Travel Counsellors, Fionn Davenport, Travel Journalist, Paul Hackett, Irish Travel Agents’ Association (ITAA)

Panel 2: Supporting Irish Citizens in Vulnerable Situations

Moderated by Dónal Cronin, Consular Director

Panellists: Karen McHugh, Safe Home, Orla Gogarty, St. Patrick’s Mental Health Services, Richard King, Crosscare