“Top Brass” bound for Templemore today.

However they may also be the last for a while after Minister Fitzgerald said the government had no plans for a further intake at present.

Last Monday the first class of recruits since 2009 – 100 in all – entered the Garda College in Templemore.

The students are also the first to under take a new training programme which focuses on critical thinking and accountability through problem based learning.

Today the Justice Minister Francis Fitzgerald and the head of the Gardai – Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan – travel to Tipperary to meet and greet the new recruits.

The government had previous indicated that at least more batch of trainee officers would begin their studies at Templemore in the coming months but following recent comments from Minister Fitzgerald that's looking increasingly unlikely.

Senior Gardaí have expressed concern that the numbers within in the force have dropped below 13 thousand, however speaking last week the Justice Minister said the government has yet to decide whether or not more recruits will begin training adding there were no plans at present.