An Garda Siochana has announced that Cabra Garda Station will take part in a pilot initiative aimed at supporting the deaf community.

In partnership with the Centre for Deaf Studies at Trinity College, and the Sign Language Interpreting Service, the new initiative is aimed at helping members of the deaf community who need to attend the station.

Speaking about the initiative that was launched on March 1, Chief Superintendent Matthew Nyland, who heads up An Garda Siochana’s Human Rights section, said: “This initiative is part of the ongoing commitment of [the Force] 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.”

The initiative will be delivered through a webcam-enabled computer in Cabra Garda Station, and also in Tralee Garda Station.

It will allow video-link access to Irish Sign Language interpretation through to the Irish Remote Interpreting Service (IRIS).

John Stewart, national manager of the Sign Language Interpreting Service (SLIS), which provides the service, said: “The interpreter is based in the SLIS/IRIS offices and will interpret the conversation through Irish Sign Language.

“This additional service enhances access for the deaf community and will facilitate initial and routine enquiries, while face-to-face interpreting will still be provided by An Garda Siochana for other needs.”

Welcoming the initiative, Professor Lorraine Leeson from the Centre for Deaf Studies, TCD said: “We look forward to continuing to work with our partners in An Garda Siochana and Sign Language Interpreting Services to identify how best the Force can be ready to service the Irish Sign Language needs of the deaf community nationally.”