The first members of the Garda Reserve have graduated from the Garda College in Templemore.

The group of 36 volunteers, who underwent an intensive training programme, will serve in garda districts in Dublin, Cork, Galway and Sligo.

The Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Michael McDowell, said it was heartening that so many committed volunteers were prepared to serve their local communities.

Mr McDowell said the reservists would be a real support to their full-time colleagues and would forge 'new and stronger links' between local communities and An Garda Síochána.

The Department of Justice says that, to date, over 7,000 people have applied to become reservists.

The Public Appointments Service continues to accept applications via its website