A new smartphone alert app has been launched by gardaí to help safeguard children.

The free app will help quickly notify people that a Child Rescue Ireland alert has been issued.

It will give updates on the progress of investigations into missing children, including descriptions and any reported sightings.

The launch of the new technology coincides with national Missing Persons Day.

The idea for the day came from an award-winning transition year project by pupils from Davis College in Mallow, Co Cork.

It aims to remember those who have gone missing and recognise the trauma caused as well as provide information on support services available. 

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has said that he in confident there is enough garda resources to deal with missing persons investigations. 

He was speaking at the launch of the CRI alert app. 

Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan said the recent CRI alert generated 37,000 hits on social media. 

Commissioner Callinan said it showed the power of the media in a digital world.