CANDIDATES who have been on a garda recruitment panel for years will have to re-apply and start from scratch when the force seeks new members.
Justice Minister Alan Shatter is to consider restarting garda recruitment by the year end.
A revised training programme has been introduced in the Garda College following a review of training for garda recruits, Minister Shatter said.
"In light of this and in view of the fact that the existing garda recruitment panel is now approximately five years old, it is unlikely that the existing panel will be used in any future recruitment," the Minister said.
The matter will be "kept under review", he told Fine Gael TD Brian Walsh in the Dail.
Garda numbers had been reducing because of the moratorium on recruitment.
"My objective is to ensure that garda numbers will not fall below 13,000.
"I have informed my Cabinet colleagues that I am reviewing the position regarding garda strength in the light of an estimated reduction to just over 13,000 by the end of 2013."
Last November, numbers in the force totalled 13,440.
Mr Shatter pointed out at the time that, under the terms of the EU-IMF programme, garda numbers must fall to "at least" 13,000.
He was responding to questions from Niall Collins TD (FF), who pointed out that garda training took two years.
Yesterday, the Herald reported that gardai in Dublin gave a terrified victim of a mugging, the bus fare to get home because they did not have a patrol car.
The garda station at Coolock had no patrol car operating from 7am to 3pm last Thursday, our report also said.
On the same day, February 21, there was only one garda car in operation between 3pm and 9pm in the entire 'R' district, which covers a population of 150,000 in the Coolock, Swords and Malahide areas. The area is considered a hotbed for organised crime, with some of the country's most dangerous gangs operating from there.
Jeanie Sanches, a nurse in her forties, was robbed outside Clare Hall Shopping Centre on February 13, said she was shocked when gardai could not take her home.
In the Dail last week, Mr Shatter, in a reply to Andrew Doyle (FG), said that he had made an additional €3m available to the gardai towards the end of last year, which enabled the force to buy 213 vehicles in 2012.
A further €5m had been provided for 2013, Mr Shatter said.
"This is a clear indication of my commitment to ensure that, to the greatest extent possible, An Garda Siochana are provided with sufficient resources to enable them to provide an effective and efficient policing force," he said.
Figures given to Mr Doyle show there are currently 47 vehicles assigned to the Wicklow Division: Baltinglass (11), Bray (20), Wicklow (16).