A huge response to a garda recruitment campaign has led to 20,000 people applying for 300 jobs.
The first recruitment drive in more than four years has resulted in an avalanche of applications from young people across the country.
Justice, Equality and Defence Minister Alan Shatter said he was "greatly encouraged" by the massive response and reminded young hopefuls they had until midnight tomorrow to submit their applications.
The recruitment drive began on December 9 and the Public Appointments Service website www.publicjobs.ie was inundated with applications almost immediately.
"This is the first recruitment campaign to An Garda Síochána since 2009 and it is recognised by all as being a welcome and important development," said Minister Shatter.
"I would like to remind potential applicants that the closing date for receipt of applications is midnight on January 9 and I would strongly encourage all those interested in joining the garda force to submit their application by that date if they haven't already done so.
"Over the coming weeks, the Public Appointments Service will begin to process these applications so that new recruits will be able to enter the Garda College later this year."
It is expected successful candidates will enter the Garda College in Templemore in mid-2014.
After 32 weeks' tuition, there will be a further 72 weeks of on-the-job training.
On conclusion of 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 recruitment was put in place.
Last night, Denise Charlton, chief executive of the Immigrant Council of Ireland, said the new recruitment drive was a real opportunity "to deliver a force which reflects the communities which it serves."
She said: "The re-commencement of garda recruitment is welcome news for everyone who has their dreams of a policing career put on hold. We now have a chance for the force to act on its existing commitment to diversity."