Consular Services Charter
Introduction by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Dermot Ahern, T.D.
I am very pleased to introduce the Department of Foreign Affairs Consular Charter. The Charter is intended to present a clear guide to the services which are provided by the Department to Irish citizens travelling abroad. It also contains easily accessible information on whom to contact and where to get consular assistance if required.
Irish people are travelling abroad in ever greater numbers.On the basis of the latest CSO figures, Irish residents will make about 8 million overseas trips this year. Most of these journeys will take place safely and uneventfully and the only contact which people will have with the Department will be in relation to obtaining a new passport should they require one. For a minority however, things will go wrong and help will be needed.
This Charter sets out what support is available both through the Department’s Consular section as well as its Diplomatic and Consular network abroad. It makes clear our commitment to provide these services in a timely and effective manner and to handle
consular cases with sympathy and professionalism. At all times we place the welfare of the citizen at the centre of our activities.
At the same time, the primary responsibility for ensuring a safe journey abroad rests with the citizen him/her self. Exercising common sense and taking sensible precautions will guarantee that the vast bulk of overseas trips will be happy and safe. The Charter therefore sets out some guidelines for what people can do themselves to make certain that they travel safely.
The Charter is part of our ongoing commitment to maintain and
improve our services to the public. Other important elements in
this improvement include the further development of the
Department of Foreign Affairs website, in particular the Travel Advice section; the implementation of an initiative to Travel safely / slÁn Abhaile allow for online registration for people travelling overseas; the provision of additional consular resources for major sporting events abroad; and the further development of our network of Diplomatic and Consular Missions.
These initiatives are all intended to make it easier and more convenient for people to access our services and, above all, to travel safely. I am committed to further enhancing our present first class system of consular protection so that Irish citizens receive the best of care.
I very much hope that you will find this Charter useful and informative.
Dermot Ahern, T.D.
Minister for Foreign Affairs
To read the full text of the Charter please click here.