Garda Commissioner Drew Harris has told over 180 new gardaí graduating this afternoon that they must act with integrity and honesty.

Speaking at his first garda graduation ceremony since his appointment, Commissioner Harris told the new recruits that this meant they must be "upfront with people", act in the best interests of the public and treat everyone they meet with respect, dignity and empathy.

Commissioner Harris also stressed to the gardaí that they were not there to serve themselves or the organisation, but the people.

An Garda Síochána, he said, will be more receptive to constructive criticism whether it comes from inside or outside the organisation.

Meanwhile, Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan would not be drawn on whether the planned increase of 4,000 more gardaí, staff and reserves would necessitate an increase in the garda budget of €1.6bn.

However, he told RTÉ News he welcomed the announcement by Commissioner Harris that he would first examine how gardaí was spending its budget before seeking additional funding.

The commissioner is due to meet senior managers in the force next week to discuss finances.