A government Bill will be published today which provides for people with certain criminal convictions to have the slate wiped clean after a number of years.
Under the Spent Convictions Bill being published by the Justice Minister, a person who remains conviction-free for between three and seven years - depending on the sentence originally imposed by the courts - could have their convictions expunged.
The Bill covers certain custodial sentences of one year or less, as well as a range of non-custodial sentences.
Justice Minister Alan Shatter says this legislation brings Ireland into line with most other EU member states in providing that people convicted of offences can eventually leave their past behind them and get on with their lives.
The Irish Penal Reform Trust has previously called for the enactment of such legislation to aid the successful reintegration of former offenders and prisoners.
Minister Shatter said he hopes to have the Bill enacted without delay.