The threat of disciplinary action against the four sergeants who walked out on the Minister for Justice and the Garda Commissioner at their annual conference has been lifted.

The lifting of the disciplinary action followed a six-and-a-half hour meeting at the Garda College in Templemore.

The four men said they did not mean to cause any offence to the Commissioner.

They had said they had no confidence in him, but after the meeting stated they personally have full confidence in him, as did the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors.

In a joint statement, both sides acknowledged the comments by the Commissioner on RTÉ's News at One as particularly helpful and magnanimous.

The four delegates from Carlow and Kilkenny particularly regret that the whole matter was played out on television and in the public arena.

They will not be disciplined for their actions and comments and all parties now consider the matter resolved.

Commissioner Callinan said that any commissioner would want to see discipline maintained.

He said this is a time for cool heads, appropriate reflection and moving on.

AGSI General Secretary John Redmond yesterday described the threat of sanctions against the delegates as outrageous.

Mr Redmond said they were mandated to act in the way that they did and had no option but to reflect the views of the sergeants and inspectors they represent.

In the Dáil, Mattie McGrath has said that what was happening with the four sergeants was totally unacceptable.

Mr McGrath said it was like living in a military junta to have four gardaí summoned to Templemore for disciplining.

He also criticised Mr Shatter's attitude to gardaí.

In addition, Mr McGrath said he wanted to kill the lie that gardaí had walked out on the Croke Park talks, claiming they had no power and were like bridesmaids at a wedding.

Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said the Government was open to having talks with the garda representative bodies about the pay agreement.

He said they had chosen to leave those talks, which he believed was regrettable.

Sinn Féin's Mary Lou McDonald said that Mr Shatter's treatment of gardaí was "nothing short of contempt".

Citing cuts to garda resources and staffing levels, she said the Croke Park extension was adding insult to injury.