Dáil Éireann - Volume 657 - 18 June, 2008
Written Answers. - Diplomatic Representation.
Deputy Denis Naughten Deputy Denis Naughten
Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the procedures in place to assist Irish citizens who encounter difficulties when on holiday abroad, including death or injury; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23714/08]
Deputy Micheál Martin Deputy Micheál Martin
Deputy Micheál Martin: My Department has long provided a first class Consular service to Irish citizens in need oversees and their families. As Minister for Foreign Affairs, I will ensure that maintaining and improving this high quality service remains a key strategic priority.
Our resident Missions and Honorary Consuls around the world are readily available, as the need arises, to provide consular assistance to our citizens. Likewise, in countries where we have no resident presence, citizens can avail of the services of any EU Embassy.
The consular services provided by our Embassies and Consulates abroad include the following: issuing passports including emergency travel documents; assistance to victims of serious  accidents, illnesses or crime; assisting people detained, arrested or imprisoned abroad; transferring funds, provided by family members, to Irish citizens abroad where conventional means are unreliable or non-existent; repatriation of Irish citizens in emergency circumstances; and assistance in connection with deaths abroad and the return of remains to Ireland. A number of practical initiatives have also been taken recently to further protect our citizens. These include a Consular Services Charter, launched by my predecessor last January; on-line voluntary registration for Irish citizens travelling outside the Common Travel Area; a state of the art Crisis Centre; fully trained Emergency Consular Assistance Teams to be deployed in the event of a consular crisis abroad; and detailed on-line comprehensive travel advice.
Dáil Éireann 657 Written Answers. Diplomatic Representation.