IRELAND'S next batch of garda recruits will be 'one in a hundred,' it has emerged.
The huge response from applicants for new garda training posts has meant there are almost 100 young applicants for each post being offered.
Around 25,000 applicants are chasing just 250 to 300 positions in the force. The massive demand for places demonstrated the extent of the pent-up demand for garda jobs in the absence of any recruitment campaign since 2009.
The Public Appointments Service is beginning a big processing operation of applications to select those able to enter the Garda College later this year. Candidates will face further online aptitude tests, interviews and physical condition and health checks.
Following the first 32 weeks' tuition, there will be a further 72 weeks of on-the-job training.
On conclusion of the two years' training, successful recruits will be awarded a BA degree in Applied Policing.
The last recruits entered the Garda College in Templemore in May 2009, after which the moratorium on public sector/service recruitment was put in place.
The delay in the replenishment of the numbers in the force will mean garda numbers will fall below 13,000 for a period before new gardai take up their posts at stations around the country. The current level is 13,100 but that number will fall by more than 100 while the new recruits are being trained.
Garda chiefs have stated they did not want to see numbers fall below the 13,000 mark.