The value of what the Garda Band brings to Irish society should be included in any talk about its cost.
That's according to head of the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI), Antoinette Cunningham.
She was speaking as new figures show nearly €4.6m was spent on the group since 2020.
The cost of has been brought into focus, with the Irish Examiner reporting it has cost taxpayers around €25,000 per performance.
But Ms Cunningham says they're vital for community policing.
"The Garda Band is a community-based part of the Garda orgiansaton, [it] provides a huge service to communities and towns around Ireland.
"We would say that there's a huge value on the cultural and the community policing aspect that they provide in our towns and villages.
"Most people around Ireland will have heard the Garda Band - they play at schools, towns, they play at national and international sporting events."
'This is a free service'
She says the comparison made is not fair.
"When we saw the article this morning in the Examiner, we were concerned that the article seemed to highlight more the cost of everything - but not give the value of what the Garda Band brings to Irish society.
"I don't think it's fair to highlight the costs in the manner that they did.
"Of course there's a cost - they are full-time musicians, they have to be paid their wages, they have to eat, they have to sleep, they have to be accommodated.
"So I don't think it's comparable to a chart-topping musical performance.
"This is a free service [that] is provided to communities around the country.
"And of course these people redeloayed themselves during the COVID pandemic and provided a policing service also - and they should be commended for that".
The band has travelled to many international events and has represented Ireland on a number of occasions at police festivals and concerts in Switzerland, Germany and Northern Ireland.
It also has a long association with Lansdowne Road for rugby and soccer internationals, the St Patrick's Day Parade in Dublin and the Rose of Tralee Festival.
Additional reporting: Aoife Kearns