A total of 36 Irish citizens and residents have evacuated Afghanistan, as Ireland announced it was ending its emergency mission in Kabul.
Since the deployment of the Emergency Consular Assistance Team, 26 Irish citizens and residents were taken out of Afghanistan. 10 people had already been evacuated before the Irish team arrived. The Department of Foreign Affairs said it is now aware of around 60 Irish citizens in need of support in Afghanistan, as well as 15 Afghan citizens with Irish residency. Given the warnings issued around Kabul airport , however, the remaining Irish citizens and residents in Kabul and beyond have been advised “against coming to or remaining at” the airport.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said the Irish evacuation “is not over”, but he could not say how those still in Afghanistan will get to Ireland. Ireland has granted refugee status to about 250 people from Afghanistan and that number is likely to increase.
He said it will not be easy to get people out, but all European countries are in the same situation. Most of the Irish passport holders travelled on a French plane yesterday morning. The last three of the team, a senior diplomat and two soliders, left on a Finnish flight this afternoon, the first flight to take off after the bomb attack the airport. The three had stayed back to accompany 15 Irish people who also travelled on that flight. The minister thanked the team for their “rapid deployment” to such a challenging environment.