MORE than 2,200 people applied for just 18 new fire-fighting jobs which need filling next year.
Cork City Council admitted it was shocked at the scale of applications for the posts, which can be filled because the service is exempted from the public-sector recruitment embargo.
The 18 positions will be filled in 2013 to replace firefighters who have retired or quit.
Cllr Joe O'Callaghan said the 18 recruits were desperately needed as manpower levels had dropped close to critical levels.
"The service is held in enormous esteem for the courageous way they undertake a very dangerous job. These new recruits are badly needed," he said.
It is understood the applicants ranged in age from 18 to 45 years. Applications were received from across Ireland.