The Department of Foreign Affairs has been criticised after it emerged it still had not collected data on the number of lost, stolen or misplaced Irish passports abroad.

It follows the dismissal of an Israeli Embassy official over the use of forged Irish passports in the assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai in January.

Fine Gael TD Billy Timmins said the failure to collect such information was "extremely surprising".

"You would think that in this day of modern technology and information-sharing that the department could liaise with other governmental forces to get the figures.

"I have raised this issue before with the minister and I will be raising it again. It is extremely surprising that this is still the case," he said.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed it still did not have figures for lost or stolen passports outside of Ireland.

Figures show that over 81,000 passports were issued to Irish citizens living abroad in 2009, a figure which has previously been criticised as "worryingly high".