More than 200 emergency calls missed on Tuesday during BT Ireland outage

Investigation launched into outage of 999 phone line for over an hour on Tuesday morning

More than 200 emergency 999 or 112 calls were not answered due to a problem with the service in the early hours of Tuesday morning, the Department of Communications has said.

Department officials were notified by telephone company BT Ireland that the emergency call service suffered an outage between 1am and 2.15am. This resulted in 227 people who called the phone line being unable to reach the emergency operators.

BT Ireland, who operate the emergency phone line on behalf of the State, told the department that An Garda Síochána had since followed up with all callers who were affected by the temporary outage.

Minister of State with responsibility for procurement Ossian Smyth has sought a detailed report from BT Ireland on the reasons behind the emergency phone line outage.

In a statement, the department said the “immediate priority” was to ensure there was “no risk of a similar occurrence in the future”.

Mr Smyth said the department is to establish “the precise circumstances that gave rise to the service outage and then, in consultation with its legal advisers, determine the consequences under the contract”.

The current contract with BT Ireland to run the 999 and 112 call answering service was signed in early 2018, following a competitive bidding process. The contract is due to expire at the end of 2025.

Jack Power

Jack Power

Jack Power is a reporter with The Irish Times