Written answers

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Department of Foreign Affairs

Crime Levels

9:00 am

Photo of Chris AndrewsChris Andrews (Dublin South East, Fianna Fail)
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Question 303: To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs the number of reported homicides or suspected homicides of Irish citizens abroad each year. [21591/07]

Photo of Dermot AhernDermot Ahern (Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs; Louth, Fianna Fail)
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Over the last decade, the number of Irish citizens travelling and living abroad has increased dramatically; they are now to be found in a wider range of locations throughout the world than ever before.

As a result, the need for consular assistance and support continues to increase. For example, the number of visits abroad in 2006 was almost 7 million. The vast majority of these visits are trouble free, but unfortunately, some result in death or serious injury. The number of fatalities varies from year to year, and to date in 2007, assistance has been sought from the Department in over 100 such cases. In many of these cases, deaths have occurred in very traumatic and difficult situations. The Department does not breakdown the fatalities by causes of death as those are often in dispute.

I am very pleased, however, to report that in the overwhelming number of cases, citizens indicate that they are extremely appreciative of the quality of the support and advice they receive from the Department and our missions overseas in these, often tragic, circumstances.

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