Diplomatic supports for Irish people abroad
If you are in need of advice or assistance while you are abroad, you can call on the Irish embassy or consulate in that country. There are Irish embassies and consulates-general located in countries throughout the world.
If you are in a country where there is no embassy or consulate, you may look for advice and assistance from embassies or consulates of other European Union countries.
Embassies and consulates can be of assistance if:
- You need an emergency passport
- You have been the victim of crime or illness or have had a serious accident
- You have been arrested or imprisoned while abroad
- You need help in transferring funds from home where more conventional means are not available
- There is a death abroad and the remains need to be returned to Ireland.
There is a limit to the services the embassy or consulate can provide. For example, if you have been ill or in an accident, they can:
- Inform family or friends about your accident or illness
- Advise on local medical services and lists of English-speaking doctors
- Liaise with local medical services on your behalf.
They cannot, however, offer medical advice, pay medical bills or pursue compensation claims on your behalf. Nor will they be able to pay for relatives to come to see you.
Further information about the range of services relating to the consular protection of Irish citizens is available from the Consular Section of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade – see 'Where to apply' below. The Department has also developed a free smartphone app called TravelWise which has travel advice and consular information on 200 countries. The app is available from the Apple and Android stores.
Repatriation of Irish people from abroad
In very exceptional circumstances, where the health or security of an Irish citizen abroad is at risk and there is no way of dealing with the situation satisfactorily locally, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade may agree to repatriate the person to Ireland.
This will be done at the sole discretion of the Department. In addition, repatriation in this instance is subject to strict conditions which will be set out and explained clearly in each individual case. The conditions include a written undertaking to repay all the expenses incurred as well as a statutory fee for this service.
Where to apply