Department of Foreign Affairs

When the homicide of an Irish citizen takes place abroad, at some stage the family of the homicide victim will be dealing with the Department of Foreign affairs.

Department of Foreign Affairs
80 St Stephen’s Green
Dublin 2

Phone: 00 353 1 4780822

Under the Department of Foreign Affairs Consular Charter, the following should apply following the death of a loved one abroad…

The death of a family member or friend abroad is obviously particularly distressing. People can feel overwhelmed when, in addition to normal feelings of bereavement, they also need to deal with a foreign bureaucracy through an unfamiliar language. They may have to cope with complex consultations in order, for example, to have a body brought home, or to arrange for a local burial.

If a Diplomatic or Consular mission is informed of the death of an Irish national abroad, arrangements will be made with the Garda Síochána to have the next of kin in Ireland informed immediately.

Consular officials will also assist with the logistical issues that arise when someone dies abroad. They can assist in dealing with local authorities to obtain death and other certificates, and will put you in touch with local undertakers who can either make the arrangements to have someone buried (or cremated) locally, or to arrange for the remains to be flown back to Ireland.

Families should be aware that the time required in order for remains to be repatriated may vary depending on the formalities required by different countries, and also on the individual circumstances surrounding a death. While a week to ten days would be quite usual, there may be circumstances where repatriation can be delayed for longer. The Diplomatic or Consular Mission will keep in touch with the relevant authorities so that families can be kept informed of the position.

While Consular officers will do their utmost to see that the wishes of the dead person and the family are respected with regard to funeral arrangements, and are happy to act as liaison for families with the local authorities and undertakers, there may be some cases where because of local law, weather conditions etc., it may not be possible for family wishes to be fully complied with.

The Department does not pay for repatriation of remains, except in some very exceptional circumstances. Neither are we in a position to provide funds for funeral expenses or for relatives to travel to where the death occurred, or to accompany the remains to Ireland.

In some cases, e.g. where the death has been the result of a crime or car accident, it may be necessary for the Irish Diplomatic or Consular Mission to remain in contact with the victim’s family for some years as police or judicial investigations progress. In these cases, the families will be kept informed of all new information as it is made known to the Mission by the relevant authorities of the country concerned. They will also be informed when changes of personnel at the Mission require that a new officer will take over handling of the case. However, the Department does not have investigative powers and all investigations and enquiries into crimes committed abroad are the responsibility of the local police and judicial authorities.

The full charter can be found at:

Following homicide abroad, families will need to contact the consular services of the country where the homicide took place.

They can be accessed as follows:

In Ireland

Consular Section
Department of Foreign Affairs
69-71 St. Stephen’s Green
Dublin 2

+ 353 1 408 2308
+ 353 1 408 2585
+ 353 1 408 2302


By contacting directly the Irish Embassy in the country concerned.
Irish Diplomatic and Consular Missions are staffed by full-time officials of the Department of Foreign Affairs and offer the full range of Consular Services.   This information can be obtained by ringing the Department of Foreign affairs/Consular Section at the numbers above or by consulting the full list on:

If you become a victim of crime while visiting Ireland, The Irish Tourist Assistance Service (ITAS) is a specialist service offering immediate support and assistance to tourists who are victimised while visiting Ireland.  The service is free and confidential.   ITAS is run by staff and volunteers who speak a variety of languages.  It acts as a base where problems facing a tourist can be addressed promptly with a view to getting holiday plans back on track.   The trauma of being a victim of crime can be compounded by language, culture and legal differences.  Tourists in unfamiliar surroundings can feel alone and vulnerable. By dealing with the practical issues associated with the crime a more positive emotional state can be restores.

ITAS can be contacted:

Irish Tourist Assistance Service
6-7Hanover Street East, Dublin 2
Phone: 1890 365700 / 01 6610462
Fax: 01 6610462
Email: info@itas.iesh

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