Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan has said he cannot condone industrial action by members of An Garda Síochána if the Government implements pay cuts.
Commissioner Callinan said he understands the hurt and anger of his members, but that this was about pride in the uniform and working together.
He said he will do his best to protect their welfare, as well as providing an effective and efficient police service.
The Garda Representative Association has said it is convinced that the Commissioner is unaware of the impact the cuts are having on its members.
It wants Commissioner Callinan to outline whether he believes any pay reduction will negatively impact on policing.
Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, GRA President John Parker said gardaí feel they are not being listened to and that members are angry and many are demanding action.
Meanwhile, Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has said expressions of condemnation and anger are no substitute for rational engagement.
Mr Shatter called on garda representative organisations to get involved in the talks taking place on a new public service deal.
He added that the GRA had what he called "form" in opposing change, citing by way of example its opposition to the introduction of garda reservists.
Mr Shatter said it is important that people recognise it is a "time of change", and that they should embrace it rather than resist it.
Earlier, the Justice Minister described yesterday's vote of no confidence in him by the GRA as something that occurs from time to time.
He said there have been rows over the years between the minister of the day and the garda associations and both parties simply have to get on with their jobs.
Both the minister and the Garda Commissioner were presiding at the graduation of 126 garda reservists in Templemore today.