As many as 3,400 gardaí could face disciplinary action for not appropriately dealing with crimes committed by youths, the Garda Commissioner has said.
Significant failures with the Garda Youth Diversion programme were revealed last month.
Almost 3,500 youths got away with around 8,000 offences.
The incidents included public order, theft, and traffic offences, but also 55 serious crimes such as cases of rape, sexual offences and child neglect.
Gardaí who failed to properly deal with these cases have been referred to their Divisional Officer to consider disciplinary action.
Garda Commissioner Drew Harris today acknowledged that shortcomings with Garda ICT systems cannot be entirely blamed for the failings.
"It's a big step to consider"
Speaking before the Oireachtas Justice and Equality Committee, Commissioner Harris said: "In the end, [gardaí] were asked to do what's an elementary skill for any member - which is prepare a file and submit that for consideration for prosecution. That didn't happen.
"It's a big step to consider... [if there should be] discipline in respect of 3,400 members. But in the end it just kept ultimately coming back to that."
He added: "General guidance on disciplinary processes and penalties have been provided to all Divisional Officers. But this is a process that they're responsible for - discipline in this matter is delegated to them."
Garda computer systems and a new monitoring programme for all youth referrals were introduced last year to ensure no more cases slip through the cracks.
Commissioner Harris explained that gardaí are also receiving specific youth referral training.
He noted: "As of yesterday, 1,850 members had completed that process - and we intend to make sure over the next weeks that that's fully rolled out."