The training of 100 garda recruits has been delayed until September as it emerged 20,000 people applied for their first recruitment since 2009.
September will see them start their two-year education at the Garda College in Templemore, Co.Tipperary where they will receive a BA in Applied Policing upon successful completion of the training.
Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald did not give a reason for the delay but confirmed that the recruitment had been sanctioned by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin.
She said the new garda intake “marks an important step forward, both for the Gardaí, for the local community in Templemore; and for the country.”
Applications for the two-year training opened on December 12 last year and closed on January 9, with 200 times more people applying then there were places available.
Members of the gardaí have expressed concern that the force is weakening due to numbers dropping below 13,000 and that the number of new recruits will not be sufficient.