Figures released today show that Irish diplomatic officials gave assistance to over 1,500 people abroad.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has described the assistance given as "serious consular emergencies", including deaths, arrests, accidents, child abductions and hospitalisations.

The Department says the highest number of emergencies occurred in Spain, Australia, the United States, France, Britain, Turkey, Thailand, Canada, the UAE, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Greece, Poland and Portugal.

The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Eamon Gilmore has urged travellers to have appropriate travel and medical insurance, "to avoid the burden placed on families in the unfortunate event of an accident".

Assistance was provided in 194 cases of death and 290 cases of arrest.

A number of "difficult and protracted" child abduction cases also required Irish diplomatic officials to provide assistance.

During the Euro 2012 finals in Poland, assistance was provided to 180 people and several hundred more were given advice and help with queries.