A pilot for the new www.112.ie service was launched by Minister for Communications Pat Rabbitte yesterday. It enables users who are unable to communicate verbally to send text messages to the Emergency Call Answering Service.
The scheme will run till the end of June, operated by BT Ireland, and will in the words of the minister take "a step closer towards parity of access for all to the emergency services".
Users are required to register online before using the service. They can then send texts to 112 specifying the service needed (whether gardaí, fire brigade, ambulance or coastguard), the problem encountered, the county they are in and their exact location.
The programme has been welcomed by the Irish Deaf Society, which says it finally puts deaf people "on an equal par".
The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.