Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has said that legislation enabling the establishment of a DNA database is virtually complete.

Speaking at the launch of Dublin Rape Crisis Centre's annual report this morning, Mr Shatter said he expects to publish the DNA Database Bill in September.

He said he hoped that the database would be operational by next year.

The minister said that a DNA database would revolutionise the detection of sex crime in Ireland.

Mr Shatter said: "Our Database will hold the DNA profiles of every person convicted of any offence that attracts a sentence of five years or more, which covers rape and most sexual offences.

"On top of that people serving prison sentences when the legislation is enacted will also have their profiles put on the database."