A spokesperson for the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dermot Ahern, has appealed to those involved in the apparent kidnapping of Irish journalist Rory Carroll to release him unharmed.

The spokesperson confirmed that Irish diplomats are trying to determine who was behind the abduction earlier today of the 33-year-old Co Dublin man, who was reporting in Iraq as Baghdad Correspondent of the British newspaper, The Guardian.

Irish diplomats from the embassy in Cairo were earlier in contact with the British authorities to see if further information could be gathered. 

The Guardian confirmed this afternoon that Mr Carroll was missing and that it was believed that he was abducted by a group of armed men while on assignment in the Iraqi capital.

Speaking to RTÉ News at his Dublin home this afternoon, Mr Carroll's father, Joe, said he was confident his son would react calmly and sensibly to his abduction.

Joe Carroll, a former Irish Times correspondent and author, said his son had received specialised training for such situations.

Mr Carroll said the family knew very little of what had happened in Baghdad this morning other than the facts reported.

Mr Carroll confirmed his son carries an Irish passport. He said the family was aware of intensive diplomatic efforts to secure Rory's release.

Mr Ahern had told the Carrolls that his department was ready to offer any assistance required. 

Rory Carroll has been based in Iraq for the last nine months.

After graduating from Trinity College Dublin, he began his career as a reporter for the Irish News in Belfast and was named Northern Ireland Young Journalist of the Year in 1997.

He joined the Guardian as a home news reporter and in 1999 was posted to Rome to become Southern Europe Correspondent. In 2002 he was appointed South Africa Correspondent.