Civilians instead of gardaí are to staff immigration desks at Dublin Airport.

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald made the announcement during a visit to Immigration Control at Terminal 1 in Dublin Airport.

The change means 125 gardaí will be released from immigration duties.

It is part of a continuing initiative to civilianise immigration functions at the airport. 

An additional 80 civilian staff are to be deployed at the border control booths on a 24-hour, seven-day basis.

The move to a 24/7 civilian operation in Terminal 1 is expected to be completed next summer, with Terminal 2 completed by December 2015.

Ms Fitzgerald said: "As part of my focus on reforming policing in Ireland, I am committed to examining and pursuing all opportunities to civilianise non-frontline garda tasks, to get gardaí out from behind desks and provide a visible policing service on the ground.

"The civilianisation of immigration functions represents an important step forward in this effort."