Details have emerged of a recording system ordered by the Gardaí to record telephone calls and radio traffic at Garda venues around the country.
Public tender documents, highlighted by the Green Party, show the Gardaí inviting applicants to supply the recording system in 2007.
The tender was awarded in 2008 - the year in which, it has now been confirmed, a system of analogue recordings at Garda stations was replaced with a system for electronic recordings.
The tender outlined requests for a "digital logging recorder system which interfaces with AGS's present analog and digital communications systems".
It asked the successful supplier would install 2-terabyte hard drives at Garda Headquarters in the Phoenix Park and at the headquarters of each of the six Garda divisions.
These would be used to "automatically record and instantly playback telephone calls and radio traffic from An Garda Siochana communications systems".
It also included multimedia computers in 21 named other stations, which would be used for the local recording and playback of the communications.
The system sought by Gardaí would also allow officers with certain credentials to log into the local computers from remote locations. using the Garda network, and play back the communications recorded in those areas.
The new system was seemingly intended as a supplement to analogue recording systems which were already in place: the tender outlines how various dictaphone systems were installed in most of the locations.
The tender noted that the calls which had been archived at the time could potentially have been needed at a future date - and that any successful supplier would have to allow for these archived recordings to be played back at a future date.
The official documents show the contract was awarded to a firm in Finglas, at a cost of over €530,000, in 2008.