Tralee Garda Station Pilots Service To Support Deaf Community

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AN Garda Síochána has partnered with the Centre for Deaf Studies, Trinity College Dublin and Sign Language Interpreting Service (SLIS) to develop a Pilot initiative to support members of the Deaf community attending Tralee Garda Station.

Tralee is just one of two stations nationwide to pilot the programme, the other is Cabra in Dublin.

Chief Superintendent Matthew Nyland, Crime Legal said’ “This initiative is part of the ongoing commitment of An Garda Síochána to respect the human, constitutional, and equality of treatment rights of the Deaf community in Ireland. It aims to provide enhanced access to Garda services for members of the Deaf community in these pilot areas where they will be able to speak and be understood in their own language ‘Irish Sign Language'”.

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The service is available for assisting in:

• Routine short enquiries from members of the Deaf community at the two Garda stations.

• Processing of official documents e.g. Passport Forms, Driving licence production etc.

• Taking contact details and basic information from a Deaf person who has attended the station as a victim or witness to a crime.

• Arranging a booking for the Deaf person to provide a statement at a later date with a ‘Face to Face’ interpreter.

The service is not suitable for:

• Taking a statement from a Deaf person regarding any crime.

• Translating any information that forms part of a Legal/Criminal case.

The initiative, delivered through a webcam-enabled computer in the two pilot Garda stations, will allow video-link access to Irish Sign Language interpretation through to the Irish Remote Interpreting Service (IRIS).

Speaking about the initiative, Elaine Grehan Irish Deaf Community Member, Irish Deaf Society said; “Access to IRIS in Garda stations will be greatly beneficial to Deaf people as this service will open doors, ensuring full access to a vital service. By providing this service, there will be a shift in integrating the Deaf community into mainstream society. This will give Deaf people independence and responsibility in ensuring they are capable and confident in important tasks such as reporting crimes or making statements”.

The Pilot initiative is being launched as part of the wider preparation of An Garda Síochána for the implementation of the Irish Sign Language Act 2017, due to begin in 2020. The Pilot initiative commenced in March 2019 and will continue to operate until 31st December 2019.

Following this, the initiative will then be reviewed prior to the implementation of the Irish Sign Language Act, 2017.

“We look forward to continuing to work with our partners in An Garda Síochána and Sign Language Interpreting Services to identify how best An Garda Síochána can be ready to service the Irish Sign Language needs of the Deaf Community nationally”, said Professor Lorraine Leeson, Centre for Deaf Studies, Trinity College Dublin.

IRIS Opening Hours:

Monday – Friday : 8.00am-8.00pm
Saturday : 10.00am-4.00pm
Sunday: 12.00pm-1.30pm

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