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Úsáidimid fianáin ionas go bhfaighidh tú an taithí is fearr ar ár láithreán agus comhlíonaimid ár gceanglais Cosanta Sonraí ag an am céanna. Lean ort gan do chuid socruithe a athrú, agus gheobhaidh tú fianáin, nó athraigh do chuid socruithe fianáin ag aon tráth.

Níl an leagan Gaeilge ar fáil go fóill, más maith leat an leagan Béarla a léamh féach thíos.

Department of Foreign Affairs provides consular assistance to over 1200 citizens in 2021

In 2021, the Department of Foreign Affairs and our mission network provided consular assistance to more than 1,200 Irish citizens overseas.  This included cases of arrest, imprisonment, missing persons, serious injury, mental health difficulty and death. 

The Department also supported citizens impacted by crisis situations, such as in Afghanistan, and responded to a very high number of requests for advice and assistance on international travel given the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Noting the publication of the figures, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney T.D., said:

 “While we may have travelled less in 2021 than in previous years, the demand for consular assistance from Irish citizens has remained high.  I am proud of the professional and compassionate service that is provided by my Department to citizens in difficulty overseas.  Citizens should know that they can always contact our nearest Embassy or Consulate to access support.”

“The nature of the consular assistance we provide is becoming increasingly complex.  More and more cases involve difficult circumstances and require ongoing management for an extended period of time.”

“In 2021 we provided a significant level of support to citizens impacted by crises or by changes to the requirements for international travel, in places such as Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Morocco and South Africa. In Afghanistan, for example, we assisted in the safe evacuation of 108 Irish citizens and their dependents since mid-August, including through the successful Emergency Civil Assistance Team (ECAT), and we continue to provide assistance to the small number of citizens remaining there.  In early December, we also assisted 156 people to return to Ireland from Morocco, in very exceptional circumstances, following the suspension by the Moroccan authorities of regular commercial flights.”

Minister Coveney reminded Irish citizens who are planning to travel overseas of a number of important things to consider:

“As the pandemic continues, now more than ever, citizens should consult the Department’s latest travel advice before travelling.  There is a heightened risk that the requirements for international travel may change at short notice or that citizens may contract COVID-19 while travelling, and experience additional costs and inconvenience as a result.”

“In 2021 our travel advice for more than 200 countries was continually updated, and the Department’s temporary International Travel Helpline fielded almost 44,000 calls and responded to a significant number of email queries from citizens.”

 “While most journeys overseas go smoothly, the statistics that we are releasing today show that things can go wrong.  It is important to be prepared.  In the year ahead, I urge those travelling to get comprehensive travel insurance. Anyone travelling to Europe should also carry an ‘EHIC’, European Health Insurance Card.  Those travelling to high risk countries should register their travel details using the Department’s online Citizens’ Registration service, so that we can contact you should an unforeseen crisis arise while you are travelling.”

Minister Coveney also took the opportunity to acknowledge the contribution of staff and of a number of partner organisations in supporting citizens overseas: 

“I am very grateful to our Consular teams, our missions and our network of Honorary Consuls for the excellent support and assistance they provide to Irish citizens overseas."

“I also want to acknowledge the invaluable support provided by our close partners, including the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust, the Irish Council for Prisoners Overseas, Crosscare, the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre and Safehome Ireland. These organisations, and others, provide vital services to citizens and their families who experience difficult and in some cases tragic situations overseas.”

For information on international travel, please consult our website at and the @DFATravelwise Twitter account. 


Consular Assistance Statistics 2021



Total New Cases Opened




Child Abductions


Child Welfare


Deaths Abroad






Mental Health


Missing Persons








Victims of Crime








Notes to Editor

1. The staff in the Consular Directorate of the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin, in our 94 Missions around the world, as well as our network of more than 90 Honorary Consuls, supported citizens abroad in a wide variety of situations.  This includes cases of arrest, imprisonment, missing persons, serious injury, mental health difficulty and death.   More than 210 families required the support of the Department following the death of a loved one abroad in 2021.

2. A significant number of consular cases are complex and require assistance over an extended period.  At any one time, the Department’s Consular Assistance team can be working on as many as 150 active cases.

3. As part of the Global Ireland 2025 initiative, the Government is committed to expanding Ireland’s global footprint by opening up new embassies and consulates around the world, and by reinforcing some of the missions we already have.  These new and reinforced missions are already beginning to play an important role in delivering consular assistance to citizens overseas. 

4. The Department continues to provide preventative outreach information to citizens, encouraging them to adopt safe travel practices – to be TravelWise.  For example, the Department ran a consular communications campaign before and during the Olympics in Japan in summer 2021.

5. The Emergency Civil Assistance Team (ECAT), comprising Irish diplomats and members of the Army Ranger Wing, aided a number of Irish citizens and residents to evacuate from Afghanistan between August 24 and 26 2021.