A former Justice Minister has branded comments made at the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors conference in Sligo yesterday, about garda Adrian Donohoe's death, as "insensitive".
After a highly charged event, the Garda Commissioner, Martin Callinan, is to consider disciplinary action against four delegates who staged walkouts at the AGSI meeting.
The members of the Carlow Kilkenny-branch left the event at the start of addresses from the Justice Minister Alan Shatter and Commissioner Callinan himself.
There were also comments about the dangers of leaving members underarmed.
One member, Detective Walter Kilcullen, claimed the death of Garda Donohoe might have been prevented if he was armed with an Uzi sub-machine gun.
Nora Owen is a former Minister for Justice and she said conflict is to be expected at conferences like this, but it is unusual to see people walking out.
Ms Owen said: "I think probably the thing that distressed the commissioner the most was, and I think would have probably distressed the family most of Adrian Donohoe, was the comment of one of the sergeants that if he had an uzi machine gun, he mightn't have been killed.
"I just think that is a very insensitive statement to make."