FOREIGN nationals comprise more than half of the new reservists to graduate from the Garda College in Templemore.
This will boost the overall strength of the Reserve up to 1,242 members, including a further 135 currently in training.
They will graduate from the college tomorrow in a ceremony to be attended by Justice Minister Alan Shatter and Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan.
The 125 graduates include 78 foreign nationals from a total of 31 countries of which the biggest group is Polish.
Also included on the list are seven each from India, Romania and Lithuania, four from China, and two each from the United States, Belarus, Cameroon, Latvia, Nigeria and Zimbabwe.
Other countries represented are Albania, Austria, Australia, Brazil, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Italy, Iran, Japan, Moldova, Morocco, Pakistan, Russia, South Africa, Syria, and Ukraine. The group is divided equally between men and women.
Garda management have changed the training model at the college and say this has resulted in reservist being better prepared for duties when they graduate.
Recruits are now spending a total of three weeks in the college, in two phases, and the live-in programme has led to an increase in younger candidates.
Recruitment into the Reserve has continued despite the ban on new admissions to the full-time force.The Garda Representative Association is continuing to oppose the Reserve until the full-time force is properly resourced.