Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Tuesday 25 April 2017

IFA and former chief Pat Smith may avoid court

Former general secretary of the IFA Pat Smith
Former general secretary of the IFA Pat Smith
Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

The IFA and its former General Secretary may avoid a date in the High Court as it is understood that a tentative mediation process has started between the two parties.

Mr Smith left his post as IFA General Secretary in November 2015, amid speculation around his salary and pressure for it to be disclosed.

It was later revealed that Mr Smith had been paid in excess of €500,000 in 2013, including a base salary of €295,000, a pension contribution of €145,194, and a bonus of €55,000, as well as €35,000 from IFA telecom.

He later brought two legal actions against the organisation, including one seeking orders requiring it to pay him €2m via payments of €1m now and a further €1m over the next 10 years.

One of the cases is aimed at securing enforcement of a November 19, 2015, agreement which Mr Smith says is valid, effective and enforceable.

In his second case, Mr Smith alleged that he was defamed by the IFA and has issued a claim for damages, including aggravated damages.

Mr Smith said his agreement with IFA on his exit centered around a €1m exit package and a further €1m in yearly €100,000 instalments.

However, at yesterday's National Council meeting in Dublin, it was agreed that it was a good time to look at mediation with Mr Smith.

It is not known who initiated contact between the two parties, but one source said the view in IFA HQ is that it should enter mediation.

When contacted Mr Smith said he was not in a position to comment.

Irish Independent