Association of Garda Superintendents says 800 new officers 'needed every year'
At least 800 gardaí (Irish police officers) should be recruited every year to ensure effective policing, senior officers have said.
The claim was made at the annual conference of the Association of Garda Superintendents (AGS).
It also heard claims the force had been starved of investment since 2008.
Its president, Supt Noel Cunningham, told broadcaster RTÉ that up to 350 posts were vacated each year through retirement and "natural attrition".
"We also have people who are moving up with promotion, we also have people who are moving to specialist units," he said.
"The importance is that we have people coming in - new people coming in to fill those positions.
"A number of about 800 people would probably at least match what we're losing and what we're promoting and redeploying within the year."
Last week, the annual conference of the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) heard a call for officers to march on the Dáil (Irish parliament) in their uniforms if the government does not restore their pay to pre-economic crash levels.