Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath said he is making funds available for the recruitment of 800 gardaí and 400 garda civilian staff in 2022.

Today's Budget includes an additional €145m for the justice sector, an increase of 5.3% on the allocation for 2021.

"Our experience through Covid has given us all a renewed sense of community, at home and abroad, and an appreciation of the important work of safeguarding our society," Mr McGrath said.

Noting a rise in anti-social behaviour in some communities, Mr McGrath said he would make €6.7m next year for the Youth Justice strategy, which will seek to develop and deliver programmes and early interventions for children and young people.

Today's funding package also extends Legal Aid for victims and fund awareness campaigns, while he said it will give gardaí the tools they need to help victims and punish those responsible.

Additional funding will also be available to progress the courts' modernisation programme and for improvements within the prison service.

In his speech, Minister McGrath acknowledged the work of the Defence Forces over the past 18 months in supporting the public health strategy through contract tracing, logistics and medical support.

He also noted that the work of the Commission on the Defence Forces is ongoing and that the commission is due to report by the end of this year.

"The Government will consider any recommendations it makes at that time and I very much look forward to engaging in this process," he said.