Thursday, 11 July 2019
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Consular Services Provision
150. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade when his Department first learned of the case of a person (details supplied); the actions his Department has taken on this matter and to facilitate this person's return here; the progress made to date in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31196/19]
I am aware of the case to which the Deputy refers. Appropriate consular assistance is provided to all Irish citizens abroad where this is possible. While our capacity to do so in a zone of conflict is necessarily limited, we will do what can and should be done to assist Irish citizens in distress or danger overseas, including helping them to return home. In the case in question, the presence and vulnerability of a young child in such circumstances is of particular concern.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Irish Missions in the region are pursuing options with State and non-State Actors. The Department is also coordinating with colleagues from across Government services as well as international partners.
Given the complex and delicate nature of the case, the Deputy will understand that I cannot go into specific details regarding what options may or may not be underway or comment on speculation about such options. To do so would not be in the interests of Irish citizens or of partner organisations with whom we are in contact.