GARDAI received 373 warrants from European police forces searching for dangerous criminals hiding out here -- including 'Fat' Freddie Thompson.
Figures obtained by the Herald from the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform show that hundreds of foreign fugitives are in Ireland.
A source told the Herald that the fugitives were wanted in relation to offences such as murder, drug crime and sex offences.
The Department of Justice received 373 European arrest warrants in 2010, including a warrant issued by Spain for the arrest of notorious Dublin gang boss Freddie Thompson.
The vast majority of the warrants received by the state came from Poland with 240 EAWs being received here in 2010.
The country with the second highest number of fugitives believed to be hiding out in Ireland is the UK, with authorities searching for 43 suspects here.
In 2010, the gardai issued 51 EAWs on criminals who have skipped the jurisdiction, an increase on the 33 warrants issued in 2009.
Of these 51 warrants, 38 were sent to the authorities in the UK.
One of the most infamous European arrest warrants to be received and endorsed by the High Court involved the brother of Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams last April.
The PSNI sent the warrant for the arrest of Liam Adams to the Department of Justice and it was endorsed by the High Court here.
He turned himself in to gardai in Dublin after a warrant was issued by the PSNI. He was arrested and is set to face charges of multiple counts of rape, indecent assault and gross indecency against his daughter, Aine Tyrell, who has waived her right to anonymity.
Liam Adams has denied the charges and is fighting his extradition.
A European arrest warrant was issued for Thompson and his associate Gary Hutch for their knowledge of major Irish crime boss Christy Kinahan's billion-euro drug empire and the murder of hitman and Thompson gang enforcer Paddy Doyle in Estepona, Spain, in 2008.
Thompson can be arrested on sight by any police service including the gardai but has evaded capture up until now.