Garda management has said St Patrick's Day is an “exceptional event”, requiring a garda to work the day if he or she is asked.

Members of the force have been refusing to work overtime in a dispute over proposed cuts to their pay.

Earlier, the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors confirmed that management told them they could be breaking the law in their ongoing protests against the new Croke Park proposals.

The AGSI put a note on its website reminding members that they cannot be compelled to work St Patricks Day's if they are not rostered on.

Garda management then held a meeting with the AGSI and said the message could be in contravention of the Garda Síochána Act and they could be guilty of an offence.

The text has since been removed from the AGSI’s website.

A spokesman for the Garda Commissioner said they made the move to ensure the both the safety of the public and of its members.