The Garda Commissioner, Noel Conroy, has called for the early introduction of a DNA database.

Speaking at the Garda Representative Association annual conference in Tralee, Mr Conroy said Ireland remains one of the few European countries without a DNA database and that leaves gardaí at a distinct disadvantage in crime investigation.

He said in the UK the database has resulted in a 5% reduction in crime and a 50% increase in detections, while in Scotland the increase is 70%.

The Garda Representative Association has also called on the Minister for Justice to publish a garda report into the handling of the May Day protests in 2002.

A number of people were injured during the Reclaim The Streets protest and subsequently seven gardaí were charged and brought before the courts.

The GRA, however, says it has never seen a copy of the report and now wants Mr McDowell to insure that what it calls ‘the accountability deficit’ is set right.

Meanwhile the Minister for Justice, Michael McDowell, has announced the establishment of an advisory group to implement the provisions of the forthcoming Garda Síochána Bill.

The group will report to the minister within six months of the bill becoming law.