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Thursday 29 September 2016

Over 2,300 Irish citizens needed consular assistance last year

Department of Foreign Affairs

Sarah-Jane Murphy

Published 10/01/2016 | 12:40

The six students who lost their lives in the tragic accident, top left to bottom right: Lorcan Miller, Eoghan Culligan, Nick Schuster, Ashley Donohoe, Eimear Walsh and Olivia Burke
The six students who lost their lives in the tragic accident, top left to bottom right: Lorcan Miller, Eoghan Culligan, Nick Schuster, Ashley Donohoe, Eimear Walsh and Olivia Burke
Laurence and Martina Hayes, from the town of Athlone in Co Westmeath, who died in the terror attack in Sousse, Tunisia (Irish Independent/PA)

Figures released by The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade reveal that 2,300 Irish citizens required consular assistance in 2015.

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This includes services provided to the families of 263 people who died while abroad in 2015.

Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Charlie Flanagan said the most serious tragedy of 2015 took place in Berkeley, California last June.

"The most serious tragedy occurred in Berkeley, where six students, five Irish and one Irish-American, lost their lives and a further seven Irish students were injured."

Five Irish students and one young American died when the balcony of the fourth floor apartment on Kittredge Street collapsed in the early morning of June 16.

Those killed were Dublin students Eoghan Culligan, Niccolai 'Nick' Schuster, Lorcán Miller, Eimear Walsh, Olivia Burke and US student Ashley Donohoe.

Seven other youngsters, all Irish students on J1 work visas, were injured.

Mr Flanagan also referred to the Irish people who lost their lives in incidents of global terrorism during the past 12 months.

"We also witnessed the horrific loss of life in the terrorist attacks at Sousse, Tunisia, and injury in the later Paris atrocities.

“My Department also responded to natural disasters, including the two earthquakes in Nepal.”

Relevant assistance and support was provided by the Department’s Consular Division in Dublin and its network of embassies and consulates around the world.

"There was an increase in over 20% in both the number of serious medical cases as well as, very sadly, the number of cases of Irish citizens who died while abroad," he said.

The Department’s Consular Division and mission network also provides authentication services for educational certificates, legal documents and company documents.

Some 5,826 people were registered for Irish citizenship through Foreign Births Registration in 2015.

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