The Director of Public Prosecutions has backed calls for the establishment of a DNA database to tackle serious crime.
Addressing the Annual Prosecutors' Conference in Dublin, James Hamilton said the proposed database should not be limited to offenders who have served a prison sentence.
He told the conference that such a database was essential to tackle organised crime where it’s difficult to persuade witnesses to testify against violent crime gangs.
The Director said, however, that current proposals to only retain samples from those who have served a prison sentence were too conservative.
He wants the records to include a wider population of offenders.
The law reform commission has already proposed the database in a discussion document and is expected to recommend its establishment in a report later this year.