The Association of Garda Superintendents has called on the Minister for Justice and the Garda Commissioner to address the problem of defamatory and false allegations made against senior officers in An Garda Síochána.

A survey of superintendents and chief superintendents has found that almost half have been subjected to false allegations that have damaged their reputation, while one in three said they had suffered defamation on social media.

President of the AGS Seamus Nolan will tell Minister for Justice Helen McEntee, at its annual conference in Kildare today, that this "abuse" continues unabated.

The association welcomed the announcement in the Budget that 1,000 additional gardaí are to be recruited next year but said recruitment must be "constant, fast paced and future facing as opposed to continually retrofitting staffing deficits".

The AGS surveyed over 220 superintendents and chief superintendents nationwide and found that 48% of respondents had been the subject of false allegations which damaged their reputations.

Almost a third (30%) said they had been defamed on social media.

Some officers said they have been filmed without their consent and images uploaded on social media usually without context and often accompanied by abuse.

Others said they had been subject to bullying, harassment, discipline and criminal investigations which arose from anonymous complaints and took them years to clear their names.

Seamus Nolan described this as "cowardly, vicious, vindictive and poisonous" and said the abuse of its members "continues unabated".

The minister and Garda Commissioner Drew Harris are due to address the conference later today.

Also an issue with allowances - Supt

Meanwhile, spokesperson for the AGS Declan McCarthy said this is not about high-profile police and events but rather this is on day-to-day investigations and everyday business.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Supt McCarthy said the AGS is calling for "a robust and transparent policy brought in around these anonymous complaints and false allegations".

Supt McCarthy said it "is about keeping people safe and we would like the same courtesy paid to us that we, as senior operators within the organisation, are kept safe".

He said there is also an issue with allowances after a cutback in 2009, which was supposed to be a short-term measure but is still ongoing, and added that many have been restored to the wider public sector but not gardaí.

He said while the extra gardaí announced in the Budget is welcome, there is no "future proofing" of the force.

"Unfortunately, we're constantly only retrofitting and backfilling rather than future proofing the numbers within the organisation and recruitment has to be constant and fast paced.

"The extraction rates from the operational coalface if you like, which is what the public see out there, the men and women sitting in patrol cars and walking on the beats. This is what the public sees, but the extraction rates from them into the more modern policing, things like the Divisional Protective Services Units, the armed support, all of this extraction comes from that coalface.

"And unfortunately, the public facing policing gets affected by that. And even with the recruitment of 1,000 we're trying to get to 15,000, we're struggling to get there and if we do get to 15,000, we would be anxious that that number is maintained constantly going forward.

"So more modern recruitment driving and that it needs to be a constant and forward-facing thing all the time rather than backfilling," he added.