Belfast Telegraph

1,650 'needed consular help abroad'

Almost 1,650 Irish people needed diplomatic assistance while abroad last year, it has been revealed.

Child abductions, accidents and arrests were among the emergencies which required intervention from embassy officials, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Consular help was also given to the families of 217 people who died in a foreign country last year.

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Charlie Flanagan, said: "Our staff are deeply committed to assisting Irish citizens in difficulty and to helping Irish families at home dealing with distressing situations abroad.

"Ireland's diplomats stand ready to respond quickly and effectively to urgent cases and emergency situations worldwide."

Meanwhile, there was a 10% increase in the number of Irish citizens born in a foreign country. The department said more than 5,500 babies were registered through the Foreign Births Registration, with the majority being born in the United States, Britain, Australia, Canada and South Africa.

A further 3,000 Certificats de Coutume (civil letters of freedom) were issued to Irish citizens getting married or entering civil partnerships abroad, with Italy, Spain, Malta, France and Germany among the most popular countries for the ceremonies abroad.

Fifty applications were received from Irish citizens entering into a same-sex civil partnership abroad.

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