The Department of Foreign Affairs supported over 1,700 Irish citizens caught up in major incidents overseas in 2019, including terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka and Kenya, protests in Hong Kong and political instability in South America.

In a statement, the department said staff at home and abroad supported citizens in a wide variety of situations, such as natural disasters, arrests, imprisonments, missing persons, serious injury, and mental illness. 

Over 260 families required the support of the department following the death of a loved one abroad.

The department said that at any one time, its Consular Assistance team is working on over 150 active cases.

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said Irish citizens are continuing to travel more often and more widely than ever before and recommended that anyone travelling abroad should check the department's travel advice on its website.

He advised people to download the department's TravelWise app, "which gives immediate access to our travel advice and contact information for every Irish Embassy and Consulate", and to carry the EHIC European Health Insurance Card if travelling to Europe.

Mr Coveney also urged people to take out comprehensive travel insurance before travelling abroad and paid tribute to the "efforts of our network of 94 Honorary Consuls in 60 countries, and the assistance they provide to Irish citizens".

During last year's Rugby World Cup in Japan, the department also ran a consular communications campaign before and during competition, which saw over 30,000 Irish people visit the country.