The Department of Foreign Affairs provided consular assistance in 1,504 new cases in 2022,in addition to the consular support that is being provided to others on an ongoing basis.
Reflecting the resumption of international travel, last year saw a 21% overall increase in newly recorded consular cases, including a 55% increase in deaths of Irish citizens abroad notified to the Department, compared with 2021.
The Department also continued to support citizens impacted by consular crises overseas in 2022, by alerting them in a proactive way to risks and by putting in place a dedicated consular crisis response where necessary. Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Department established a dedicated crisis response team involving officers at headquarters, at our Embassy in Kyiv and at other Embassies, to provide close and sustained support to more than 100 Irish citizens seeking to leave Ukraine in February and March.
Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin TD, said:
“One of the main priorities of the Department of Foreign Affairs is to provide effective travel advice and consular assistance and services to Irish citizens.The Department provides a range of help and support to citizens in distress abroad, relating to a variety of situations - including arrest, imprisonment, missing persons, serious injury, mental health difficulty and death. The 2022 statistics show a consistently high level of demand for our services, with my Department and mission network providing consular assistance in a number of complex cases last year. This includes issues that have become more prevalent, such as travel bans, forced marriage, and complications arising from medical procedures abroad.
“I encourage all citizens to carefully study the DFA Travel Advice. Those requiring consular assistance while abroad should make contact with their nearest Embassy or Consulate or with the Consular Assistance Unit in Dublin.
“In 2022, my Department also provided significant levels of support to citizens impacted by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. We are aware of a number of citizens who continue to enter Ukraine, for example with the purpose of engaging in surrogacy arrangements. The situation across Ukraine remains extremely dangerous, and I strongly advise against all travel to Ukraine, for any purpose.”
As part of the consular services provided by the Department of Foreign Affairs to citizens, over 54,000 Irish documents were authenticated for business or personal use overseas, and over 2,700 civil letters of freedom were issued to Irish citizens marrying abroad in 2022.
Demand for the Department’s travel advice (at www.dfa.ie/travel) remained high during 2022. Throughout the year, our advice for almost 200 countries and territories was continually updated, receiving approximately 5 million visits throughout the year. The Department handled over 6,000 calls and 8,000 emails on international travel from the public in 2022.
The provision of topical travel advice was also enhanced in 2022. The Department reinforced advice on medical tourism, and ran a nationwide ‘Know Before You Go’ awareness campaign, preparing citizens for travel abroad during summer 2022.
The Tánaiste said:
“While most people enjoy trouble-free trips abroad, it is important to prepare properly in advance of travel. I advise all Irish citizens to ensure they have a valid passport, take out travel insurance, consult our Travel Advice, and carry an EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) if travelling within the EU.
“I also would like to acknowledge the invaluable support provided by our close partners, including Government agencies, the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust, the Irish Council for Prisoners Overseas, Crosscare, the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, Safe Home Ireland and the many Irish support organisations overseas. These continue to do great work in supporting citizens and their families who experience difficult and in some cases tragic situations overseas.”
11 January 2023
Notes to editors:
- The Department’s Consular Charter clearly sets out the assistance that we can provide to citizens in difficulty overseas, and the limits of what we can do. Consular Assistance Charter - Department of Foreign Affairs (dfa.ie)
- Citizens requiring assistance while travelling, can contact the Department of Foreign Affairs through the closest Irish Embassy or Consulate or by calling the Consular Assistance Unit on +353 1 408 2527.
- The Department of Foreign Affairs provides country-specific travel advice for 200 countries to help citizens to make informed decisions when planning a trip overseas: www.dfa.ie/travel. An email service is also available for those with urgent queries at email@example.com
New Consular Assistance Cases
Victims of Crime