The legal representation from the State for former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan is normal practice, according to the Taoiseach.
The government is providing and funding lawyers for Mr Callinan to fight a case taken by whistle-blower Maurice McCabe, at the recommendation of former acting Commissioner Dónall Ó Cualáin.
The new Garda Commissioner Drew Harris is reportedly getting legal advice about whether he can reverse the decision.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says the representation being offered to the former Commissioner is standard practice.
"As a former State employee who is being sued in the course of his work it is the norm for the State to offer representation for him," said Mr Varadkar.
"That is not to say that he is being given an indemnity or anything like that, it is representation as regards the case."