The number of full-time and trainee Gardai has reached a record high of more than 14,000, according to Justice Minister Michael McDowell.
Speaking at the Garda Training College in Co Tipperary today, Mr McDowell said the arrival of the latest batch of recruits had pushed the total numbers of trainees and qualified Gardai up to 14,137.
Mr McDowell said the figure showed the Government had met its promise to hire 2,000 extra Gardai.
However, Fine Gael has rubbished the claim, saying it is ridiculous for the minister to try to include trainees as members of the force.
Party spokesman Jim O'Keefe says trainee nurses, doctors and teachers are not included in statistics relating to their profession, so it is disingenuous for the minister to try to do so with trainee Gardai.
Mr O'Keefe says the Government has only delivered two-fifths of the 2,000 extra Gardai and the actual number of full-time Gardai is 12,762.