Gardai are to take in 300 new recruits in the coming year.
The decision was officially announced today by Justice Minister Alan Shatter who confirmed that rolling intakes of a hundred will begin from the middle of next summer.
This means that the first batch of fully fledged gardai will sent out onto the streets in mid-2016 although they will be attached to garda stations for on the job training with full policing powers from February 2015.
In the meantime, the overall strength of the garda force is set to below 13,000 which has been described in the past by Commissioner Martin Callinan as a bottom line figure.
More than 32,000 potential recruits have already indicated an interest in joining the force and these will now be invited on line to formally apply for a job.
After a series of on-line and aptitude tests, candidates will face a round of interviews.
The current strength of the force is around 13,100 and this will fall further in the coming months as around 300 are expected to leave the organisation through natural wastage.
The announcement was made today as 93 part-time reserve police officers graduated from the Garda College in Templemore, including Polish and Ukrainian recruits.
Commissioner Martin Callinan again rejected the view expressed by Judge Peter Smithwick last week that a culture of placing loyalty before honesty still existed in the force.
Mr Callinan said he expected all of his officers to be loyal but at the same time they understood that breaches of the law or garda regulations would not be tolerated by the authorities and would result in action against them.