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Former IFA general secretary Pat Smith
Former IFA general secretary Pat Smith
Image: Laura Hutton/

Farmers' association says former boss "demanded €2 million" to quit

They say Pat Smith is “trying to cover up” his demands.
Nov 26th 2015, 10:50 PM 20,952 52

THE IRISH FARMERS’ Association has accused former general secretary Pat Smith, who resigned last week after pressure to disclose his salary, of demanding €2 million to quit.

The association is to elect a new president after Eddie Downey resigned following a marathon meeting which ended this morning.

The IFA says it will use “all legal avenues” to challenge a severance package for Smith, who was paid almost €1 million in 2013 and 2014 combined.

That package amounted to around €2 million –  a €1 million up-front payment and another €100,000 per year for the next decade.

Smith today released a statement saying he believed the payment was fair in context of his 25 years of service. He asked that the lump sum be paid to two charities – Self Help Africa and the Society of St Vincent de Paul.

RTÉ reports that a letter from Smith’s solicitors was read at the IFA’s meeting this evening.

A statement from the IFA tonight said that Smith had been “effectively fired” from the job after “demanding” €2 million.

It also hit out at him for “trying to cover up” his demands.

“The unapproved package included: a €2m severance, broken down into €1m now and €1m over 10 years paid through IFA.

This is a total spin. Pat Smith demanded €2m. He is trying to cover it up.He didn’t “stand down”. In effect, he was fired.

“In fairness to our former President, Eddie Downey knew the man had to go. He had to get him out. The IFA Council has rightly disowned this package.

“The council is the Governing Body of IFA and we will fight his severance claim all the way.

“On transparency, it is Pat Smith who didn’t want to submit to transparency over his salary. That is totally unacceptable.

“Pat Smith’s letter was read to the council, contrary to his claims.”

Read: The IFA’s president is gone after a week-long pay scandal

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Paul Hosford


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