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In case of emergency dial 112 this will access a central operator who will be able to direct either an Ambulance, The Police (Gardaí), The Fire Services, Marine Rescue / Coast Guard or Mountain Rescue.
Calls to 112 are always free of charge from any type of telephone.
Calls to 112 are for emergencies only. All calls are recorded and automatically traced. Do not call 112 for information, or any non-emergency issue. Making nuisance calls to 112 is illegal.
If you accidentally call 112, stay on the line and explain to the operator, otherwise they may assume you are in trouble and send help!
If you are in your hotel room, you need to dial the prefix for an outside line, this is usually 9 or 0.
NB: The old 999 number continues to work and will not be withdrawn, but 112 is now universal across the entire European Union (and beyond). Also, dialling 112 will give you access to operators who speak a range of languages.
112 works throughout Ireland, in the Republic and Northern Ireland.
Tourists visiting Europe should simply remember 112. The old national numbers will be maintained well into the future for safety reasons. However, there is no need to know them anymore.
The Irish Police (Garda) in the Republic of Ireland are very approachable. If you need to speak to them about an issue, do not hesitate to stop a police officer on the street or call into a Garda Station. These are sign posted with a blue lamp outside.
If a station is unattended (some rural stations close at night / at weekends). Coverage is provided by a major station near by. There is an intercom on the station door, with full instructions and contact numbers for contacting the station that is providing out-of-hours cover.
In Northern Ireland, the police (The Police Service of Northern Ireland / PSNI) are also very approachable. However, in certain urban areas their police stations are very heavily fortified by comparison to those in the Republic. However, do not be put off by this. If you have an issue, talk to them.